A broken bone, or a fracture, is a common injury. All broken bones require medical care.

Symptoms of a broken bone include one or more of the following:

  • intense pain at the site of the injury that worsens with movement
  • swelling, numbness, or bluish color of the injured area
  • deformity of the limb
  • bone protruding through the skin
  • bleeding

First aid care for suspected broken bones includes:

  1. If the person is unconscious, not breathing or moving, call for medical help and begin CPR (see CPR).
  2. Stop any bleeding (See bleeding).
  3. While waiting for medical care, give first aid treatment for shock if the victim has symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, pale and clammy skin, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate. Have the person lie quietly with the feet elevated about 12 inches. Cover him or her with a blanket to maintain body warmth.
  4. Immobilize the injured area if you will be moving the victim (but do not move if there is a back or neck injury). Make a splint by folding a piece of cardboard or newspaper or a magazine then placing it gently under the limb. Carefully tie the splint to the injured area with pieces of cloth.

Apply a cold compress or ice in a plastic bag to the injured area. Make sure to use a cloth between the skin and the ice so you don’t damage the skin.