Treat Bone Fractures in the Wild

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When you travel far away from civilization and many miles away from the nearest help, there is a risk that something will go wrong. Along with snake bites, bear attacks, and profuse wounds, broken bones are joined in the wilderness. So how to Treat Bone Fractures in the Wild

Knowing how to treat a broken bone is a vital first-aid skill you must master before conquering the wild.

Here are the steps to take to make sure you’re ready. In this article, you will learn how to use homemade splints for each type of broken bone.

Have an emergency plan “treat bone fractures”

Whenever you go camping, always plan for the worst. Remember that day hikers are more likely to need rescue than multi-day hikers. The reason is that many travellers don’t take their essential survival gear with them because they think it’s not necessary for a short trip into the wild.

Then something goes wrong – an injury, a loss in the woods, bad weather. And they find themselves without the necessary supplies and no one to help.

“treat bone fractures” You should:

  • Let someone know about your plans before you go camping. Make sure they know where you will be and when you plan to return. This person should contact the emergency services if you do not get in touch at the agreed time.
  • Contact the lifeguard station. Even if you tell someone about your plans, registering with your local lifeguard is still a good idea if you’re in a local or state park.
  • Take an emergency communication device with you. Cell phones are notoriously unreliable in the wild. 
  • Always take essential survival gear with you. Includes a first aid kit, water, food, a raincoat, a signalling device (read how to make a distress signal ), ropes, and an emergency shelter.

Stop bleeding

Bleeding always accompanies a broken bone. Do the following:

  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding.
  • Know when to apply a tourniquet.
  • Cleanse and bandage the wound. Will prevent contamination of the damage in the following steps.

For open fractures where the broken bone is sticking out from under the skin, do the following:

  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped, flush the protruding bone with plenty of sterile water. Do not rub or touch the wound.
  • Do not bandage a bone or wound. You will do this after traction (traction).

Fracture Definition

If the bone is sticking out of the skin, the limb is deformed, or you hear or feel grinding around the injured area (a sign that the ends of the bone are rubbing against each other), then you know the bone is broken.

Similarly, if it is too painful for the victim to move the limb, the bone is likely broken.

However, some injuries, such as sprains or muscle tears, are difficult to distinguish from fractures. In the wilderness, when you can’t check for damages with x-rays, you should assume that the bone is broken and treat it accordingly.

Important: During first aid, the victim should move as little as possible.

Movement can dislodge a broken bone and cause further damage, including pinched nerves or ruptured blood vessels. If possible, use scissors or a knife to remove clothing around the injury. If you can’t get your clothes off without hitting a broken bone, leaving the clothes in place rather than risk further injury is better.

Inspection of the injured limb

Injuries that cause fractures in the wild can also cause severe internal bleeding. The fracture can cause internal bleeding if the broken bone ruptures a blood vessel. Fragments of a broken bone can also damage nerves.

Before a fracture is treated, check for signs of internal bleeding or nerve damage. 

Check the injured limb for circulation, sensation, and movement.

  • Check the colour of the limb below the fracture. Is it blue or purple? This is a sign that the stem is not getting enough blood.
  • Check the pulse under the injury. Feel the vibration or not? Is the pulse weak? Compare it to an undamaged body part.
  • Perform a capillary refill test. This includes pressing on the fingernail or toenail below the injured limb. Hold until the nail turns white, meaning the blood has been forced out of it. Release and see how long it takes for the nail to regain colour. With adequate circulation, the colour should return in less than 2 seconds.
  • Ask the victim if they can feel the limb below the injury. Otherwise, nerve damage could occur.
  • Can the victim move his fingers or toes below the fracture site? If not, is it because of the pain or because the victim does not feel anything below the wound?

Any sign of internal bleeding or nerve damage requires emergency care. The casualty needs help within a few hours and should be evacuated immediatelyIf you have an emergency beacon, it’s time to use it!

Perform traction (Stretch)

Traction or traction is a process that involves applying light pressure to a fracture to bring it back into its correct position. It’s not the same as setting a bone. Bone reduction is about straightening the broken bone so that it heals properly.

On the contrary, the purpose of stretching is to improve blood circulation. Traction also helps relieve pain and makes it easier to put a splint around the fracture.

When to use Stretch

  • The limb is markedly deformed.
  • The injury cannot be immobilized in its current position.
  • If a pulse is not felt below the injury site or there are other signs of circulatory disorders.

Do not use Stretch if

  • The use of traction causes a significant increase in pain.

You feel resistance as you move the distal fracture’s (far) side of the Stretch.

  • Grab the limb over the fracture and hold it in that position. If you have more than one person in your group, ask someone to complete this task.
  • With your free hand, grasp the area distal to the fracture (the point farthest from the fracture).
  • Slowly return the limb to its standard anatomical shape by pressing down lightly.

In open fractures where the bone is sticking out of the wound, traction will cause the ends of the bones to retract slowly under the skin. Once the bone is in place, you can bandage the wound.

Remove any jewellery, such as bracelets or rings, from around the injury site. Severe swelling can occur, and jewellery can get stuck on the limbs, cutting off blood circulation.

Make a tire

If you don’t have a splint in your first aid kit, you can easily treat bone fractures and make a splint from scrap materials.

A makeshift splint consists of the sling, the clasp, and the spacer. Collect all of these materials before you start splinting the broken bone.

Here are some examples of materials you can use for a makeshift splint:

  • Tire: Trekking poles, ski poles, straight tree branches about 2 cm thick, tent pegs, bicycle pump, snowshoes
  • Fastening: backpack straps, rope, bandana, medical bandage, duct tape, shoe laces
  • Lining: vest, sleeping mat, clothes

Don’t underestimate the importance of lining!

The tissue around broken bones swells severely. If insufficient padding is present, the splint will cut off circulation and can cause serious injury, not to mention severe pain. It is more important for a tire to be soft than stiff.

You can wrap the gasket around the tire. Or put a spacer between the splint and the limb. It’s a matter of what materials you have to work with and personal choice.

Fracture splint “treat bone fractures”

The tire works like a temporary exoskeleton. Her job is to hold the broken bone and immobilize it to prevent further damage.

Tip:  Before splinting a broken bone, practice doing it on the healthy side. This way, you will understand how to position the tire properly. Training will prevent aggravation of the injury and will help not cause pain when applied to the injured limb.

General instructions for using the tire “treat bone fractures”

  1. Use an adequate pad. The spacer can be wrapped around or placed between the splint and limb.
  2. Use at least two slings, one on each side of the broken limb and treat bone fractures
  3. Ensure the splint is long enough to wrap around the joints above and below the injury.
  4. A broken arm should be splinted with the elbow bent and in a sling. Use a bandage to immobilize your arm.
  5. Broken knees and elbows should be fixed in the position in which they were found.
  6. When tying the splint and spacers, the clasp should not be too tight so as not to impair blood circulation. with this tips you can treat bone fractures.

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