Providing first aid for a person with a broken leg can either help them or harm them. If you administer first aid correctly, you can help the victim of a broken leg before the paramedics arrive. If you perform first aid incorrectly, you can end up accidentally harming the person and making their leg worse.
When to call paramedics
First off, if the broken leg is a result of a severe car crash or another traumatic injury, you should call 911 and wait for the paramedics to arrive. If you decide to move the victim at this point, you may end up harming them, potentially even killing them. You should also call 911 if the person is unresponsive, if there is substantial bleeding, if the gentle movement of the limb causes pain, if the skin has pierced the skin, or if you suspect that a bone is also broken in the neck, head, or back.
How do you provide first aid to a person with a broken leg?
If the person doesn’t have any of the symptoms listed above, the first thing you should do is to stop the bleeding, if any. If there is, apply gentle pressure to the wound with any clean cloth. Secondly, make sure that you immobilize the injured area. This doesn’t mean that you should try to push the bone back into place, however. This means to apply a splint to the leg and make sure the person is comfortable. The next thing you will want to do is to apply ice packs to the leg to make sure that any swelling goes down. Instead of applying the ice directly to the skin, you should wrap the ice in a piece of sterile cloth and then apply it to the wound. Finally, you should treat the person for shock. You especially need to do this if the person feels faint or is taking short, narrow, breaths. To treat them for shock, just lay them down, elevate the legs and make sure they are comfortable.
Overall, treating a person with a broken leg is simple. You want to be sure you don’t move the person unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do decide to treat a person who has a broken leg, follow all the instructions above and wait for paramedics to arrive.