Emergency Medical Care : How to Treat an Open Fracture During First Aid

When dealing with an open fracture, the first consideration is to control the bleeding, after which the site can be wrapped without cutting off circulation. Discover how to make a splint to make the patient more comfortable with help from an emergency medical technician in this free video on treating open fractures. Expert: Rebecca Boutin Bio: Rebecca Boutin has worked for the city of Westfield, Mass. as an emergency medical technician, paramedic and firefighter since 1999. Filmmaker: Christian Munoz-Donoso

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7 Comments

  • lol @ applying pressure on an open fracture

    splints aren’t meant to control bleeding, they immobilize the broken limb to prevent further damage/massive shock/pain to the patient

    a good way to check for circulation on an unconscious patient is capillary refill of the nail. where you squeeze their nail until it turns white, then count how many seconds it takes to return to normal color. shouldn’t take less than 2-3 seconds.

    if patient is losing enough blood from an open fracture: use tourniquet

  • @m11nus Applying pressure to an open fracture will cause more damage, but you have to remember life over limb. If the patient is losing enough blood, you’re primary concern is to stop the bleeding to prevent shock. That’s a tough judgment call (one I hope to never have to make). BTW, I am speaking from being certified as an OEC Technician and your local protocol may be different and takes precident.

  • You guys are life-savers! I’m supposed to be studying this right now but I can only retain so well by reading paragraphs! One thing though, my EMR book tells us to never apply pressure to an open musculoskeletal injuries… thoughts?

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