Online First Aid Course
Our CPR/AED courses include Adult, Child and Infant techniques. Additionally, our CPR certification course includes training on the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The CPR/AED certification is valid for 2 years.
Chapter 11: Muscle, Bone and Joint Emergencies
This emergency occurs when a muscle, bone or joint moves in a direction that it is not supposed to go. This movement can lead to broken bones, sprains, fractures and other injuries.
Signs and Symptoms:
|Bruising and swelling|
|Bone fragment(s) sticking out|
|Inability to use the affected part normally|
|Snapping or popping sound at time of injury|
Common Emergency Example(s):
Fracture / Broken Bone:
A fracture is a complete break, a chip or a crack in the bone. An open fracture involves an open wound, and is when a bone end tears through the skin. An open fracture is more dangerous and severe. However, a closed fracture is more common.
A dislocation is the movement of a bone at a joint from its normal position. When the bone is moved out of place, the joint no longer functions. Usually dislocations happen at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, jaw and hip.
Sprain / Strain:
A sprain is the tearing of the ligaments at a joint. Sprains mostly occur at the ankle, knee, wrist and fingers. A strain is the stretching and tearing of a muscle. They usually occur in the neck, back, thigh, or the back of the lower leg.
Use RICE method when dealing with a sprain or strain:
Rest: Do not move or straighten the injury.
Immobilize: Try to stabilize the person in the position he/she was found. Splint or sling the injured part only and use caution if moving the person.
Cold: Indirectly cool the part using ice for up to 20 minutes.
Elevate: Only elevate the part if it does not cause more pain.
First Aid Actions / Treatment:
- Assess the scene and check for your safety.
- Get a First Aid kit and wear personal protective equipment.
- Apply a clean dressing on any open wounds. Don’t move any body part that is deformed or bent (fractured).
- If person is experiencing:
- Closed Fracture / Dislocation: keep injured area still; apply a light padding underneath injured area and apply a broad sling; tie the affected part with another limb of the body or another body part to keep it sturdy from movement
- Sprain / Strain: place a cold pack or a plastic bag filled with water and ice on a towel and then on the injured area (up to 20 minutes); use RICE method detailed above
- Activate EMS (Call 9-1-1) if the open wound is large.