Sprains, dislocations and fractures
These occur when a joint is twisted by tripping or falling, or by a sudden wrench. In a sprain the joint is not displaced, while in a dislocation part of the joint is displaced.
Dislocation of the shoulder joint
Signs and symptoms
1.Severe pain in the joint.
2.Swelling of the joint
3.Bruising around the joint
4.Reduced movement of the joint
5.Deformity of the joint (only a dislocation)
6.Signs of shock may be present
joint in the most comfortable position.
1.Rest and support the injured
2.Treat for shock if present
3.Transfer the patient to the hospital.
4.Inform the medical aid
1.Rest and support the injured joint in the most comfortable position.
2.Apply a cold compress and bandage the joint firmly.
3.Inform the medical aid If there is dislocation
A fracture is a broken bone, it may be cracked, broken into two or more pieces.
Further fractures may be classified :
Closed: there is no wound leading down to the bone and there is no bone protruding through the skin Open: there is a wound reaching form the skin right down to the broken bone, or the broken bone may protrude through the wound
You must remember the following rules when dealing
with a fracture:
All fractures should be given first aid treatment and sent to the hospital.
Interfere as little as possible with a fracture and do only what is absolutely necessary to prepare the patient for the transfer to the hospital.
Immobilize the fractured part.
Signs and symptoms
History of a fall or a fit.
Pain at the site or near the site of fracture
Inability to move the fractured limb
Swelling at the site of fracture
Fracture may be felt
Movement at the place where there should be no movement
Broken end of bone seen protruding under the skin.
Place the patient in a comfortable position with the injured part well supported
Do not remove clothing
Immobilize the injured part by using a splint and bandages
Always immobilize the joint above and below the fracture site
Treat for shock, but do not give any drink, as the patient may have to have an anaesthesia for setting the fracture on arrival to the hospital.
Inform the medical aid If the fracture is an open one, in addition to the six steps mentioned, carry out the following
Remove the clothing over the wound and
Cover it with a clean dry dressing.
Stop any bleeding by applying a pad and bandage.
If the bleeding is severe and comes out in spurts
Apply a tourniquet.