|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – November 2009
Sprains, strains, and fractured bones. Here's what to do in the case of a distressed limb.
Breaks can be hard to diagnose. If it's painful, swollen, and/or the patient doesn't want to use the injury, consider it broken–and splint it.
1. Wrap soft padding, such as a T-shirt, fleece, or socks, gently around the arm.
2. Put a rolled sock in the patient's palm.
3. Place a rigid support–SAM splint, folded section of a closed-cell foam pad, or a stick–under the injury, making sure it's long enough to support the hand.
4. Apply an ACE bandage from hand to elbow. Second choice: Bind the arm with strips of a wide, soft material, such as bandannas, at the hand and above and below the fracture site.
5. Secure the arm in a sling, then wrap a soft cloth around the sling and the patient's torso to make a swathe.
6. Check fingers for circulation and sensation. Can the patient wiggle his fingers and feel it when you touch them? If not, the splint is too tight.PHOTO SLIDESHOW: How to Treat a Fractured Arm