First Aid Techniques
At the Emergency Scene
Action in An Emergency
Assessing a Casualty
Maintaining Airway,
Breathing, and Circulation
What to do When Somebody has Collapsed
The recovery Position for
The recovery Position for
Children and Babies
Rescue Breathing for Adults
Rescue Breathing for
Children and Babies
CPR for Adults
CPR for Children and Babies
Choking in Adults
Choking in Children
Choking in Babies
Everyday First Aid
Minor Wounds
Infected Wounds
Dealing with Splinters and
Fish Hooks
Foreign Bodies
Animal Bites
Insect Bites and Stings
More on Bites and Stings
Earaches, Toothache, and
Sore Throat
Abdominal Pain
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Hysteria, Hiccups, and Panic
Equipment, Medicines, and Complementary Medicine
Using Dressings and Cold
First Aid Kit for the Home
First Aid Kit for the Car
Wilderness First Aid Kit
Observation Chart/Victim
Storing and Using Medication
Commonly Prescribed
What They Do and Side
Drug Interactions
The Complementary
Medicine Chest
Fractures, Discolorations, and Soft Tissue Injuries

Fracture is just another word for broken bone. A dislocation occurs at the site of a joint and is where a bone is fully or partially displaced. Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, and ruptures. There are often caused in the same way as fractures and generally are hard to distinguish from broken bones.


There are two main types of broken bone. The first is a closed (simple) break or fracture, where the bone has broken but has not pierced the skin. A closed fracture is sometimes difficult to diagnose, even for experienced medical staff, who will usually rely on an X-ray to determine whether or not the bone is definitely broken. The second type is an open (compound) break or fracture, where the bone has either pierced the skin or is associated with an open wound. The greatest risk with open breaks is infection. Both open and closed breaks can result in injury to underlying organs or vessels and may also be unstable if the ends of the broken bone are moving around. In young children the bones are not fully formed and may bend rather than break (termed a greenstick fracture).

While it is possible to give some general guidance for the recognition of broken bones, no to people are identical in their response. The first general rule therefore is, if in doubt, assume that a bone is broken and treat as such. Be particularly aware of potential fractures if the accident involved a sharp blow, fall, a rapid increase or decrease of speed, or a sudden twist.


The most common sites for dislocations are the shoulders, thumbs, and hips. Dislocations are usually characterized by intense pain and an obvious deformity. There may be signs and symptoms similar to a broken bone, including feelings of tingling or numbness below the site of the injury, caused by trapped nerves or blood vessels. Do not attempt to replace the bone. Make the victim comfortable and take or send him to hospital.


Strains are an overstretching of the muscle, leading to a partial tear. Ruptures are complete tears in muscles. Sprains are injuries to a ligament at or near a joint. The sign and symptoms of soft tissue injuries will be similar to the signs and symptoms of a fracture and will generally follow a sharp twisting or stretching movement.


Pain - This accompanies most, but not all, fractures is caused by the broken bone ends pressing on nerve endings.

Deformity - An injured part may appear deformed, particularly when compared to the uninjured side.

Swelling - Some swelling may be present at the site of a fracture.

Tenderness This accompanies most broken bones and can often only be felt when the injured part is gently touched.


The signs and symptoms of shock will often accompany major fractures. There may be reddening or bruising over the site of the break, but this often takes some time to appear. You may also hear the ends of broken bone rubbing together, a sound known as crepitus.

Another potential sign of broken bone is a lack of feeling or a tingling sensation below the fracture site. This may indicate nerve damage or a reduction in circulation caused by the bone pushing either the nerves or the blood vessels. The treatment for injuries displaying these symptoms is the same as for nay broken bone. However, if you have been trained to do so, applying traction may alleviate the problem.

If the victim is displaying any combination of these signs and symptoms or the nature of the accident suggests that a fracture is likely, assume that a bone is broken.
Vomiting and Diarrhea

First Aid Procedures
Breathing Difficulties
Anaphylactic Shock
Heart Problems
Treatment of External Bleeding
Bleeding from the Head or
Treating Chest or Abdominal
Crush Injuries, Impalement,
and Amputation
Internal Bleeding
Eye Wounds and Embedded
Bleeding from Special Sites
Controlling Bleeding from the Mouth and Nose
Fractures, Discolorations, and
Soft Tissue Injuries
How to Treat Fractures
Fractures of the Skull, Face,
and Jaw
Fractures of the Upper Body
Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Fractures of the Ribcage
Recognizing Back and Spinal
If you have to move the Victim
Unconscious Victim
Injuries to the Lower Body
Injuries to the Lower Leg
Sprains and Strains
Burns and Scalds
Treating Other Types of Burn
Chemical Burns and Eye Burns
Extreme Cold
Extreme Heat
Poisoning from Household
Poisoning from Industrial
Drug Poisoning
Alcohol Poisoning
Food Poisoning
Emergency Childbirth
Wilderness First Aid
What to Do if You are a Long Way from Help
Wilderness First Aid
Avalanche and Snow Survival Techniques
Cold Water Survival
Stretcher Improvising
Loading and Carrying a
One-and-Two-Person Carries
Helicopter Rescue