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First-aid for a broken bone: Do you know what to do?

Many types of accidents can cause broken bones. They range from slip-and-falls to motor vehicle crashes. If you suspect that you have a fracture, it's imperative to remain calm and get first-aid until you can receive professional medical help.

Here are five first-aid tips if you suspect a broken bone:

  • Stop the bleeding: A broken bone doesn't always result in bleeding, but it's possible. If this happens, apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Don't try to realign the bone: This is a mistake that can cause more harm than good. Not only is it painful, but it can make treatment more difficult upon reaching the hospital.
  • Immobilize the area: Don't attempt to put weight on a broken bone or move it in any way. This is particularly true of a neck or back injury, as any movement can cause serious damage, e.g., paralysis.
  • Apply ice: If available, apply ice to the broken bone for 10-minute periods.
  • Call for help: Don't assume your first-aid is enough to treat your broken bone. You need medical assistance, so call 911 for help as soon as possible.

If you're involved in an accident at work that results in a broken bone, focus your immediate attention on administering first-aid. From there, make sure your supervisor is aware of what happened.

After receiving treatment and talking with your doctor about your prognosis, determine if you can return to work. If you're unable to do so, the next logical step in the recovery process is filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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