First aid for a broken arm on an alpine tour – Tutorial (34/43) | LAB ROCK

Falls can often result in anything from cuts and bruises to fractures.
This mainly affects the extremities, in other words the arms and legs. Fractures are either caused by a direct external impact,
such as a fall or something hitting the bone or indirectly as a result of mechanical
overload or twisting of the bone. Fractures to the hands, wrists, lower arm, elbow or upper arm and
shoulder can be extremely painful, but they are not life threatening. When diagnosing a fracture, we differentiate between sure signs
and unsure signs. Sure signs are a limb that clearly appears out of place. The bone may be exposed or the arm may
be a little shorter or show abnormal movement. If the bone appears visibly distorted, no attempt should
be made to straighten it or put it back into place. This is a job for a doctor. It is not without risk and may cause
further damage that could result in permanent injury. So the best thing is to
simply immobilize the arm. Unsure signs include pain in the affected area,
swelling or discoloration, numbness or difficulty moving. If you decide the arm is broken, help the accident victim
into a position that keeps them and the arm comfortable. A good option is to immobilize the arm using a sling made out of a triangular
bandage. If the skin is broken, you should bandage it with a sterile dressing. Cooling the area can provide relief. Cooling always
reduces pain. You can do this using a cool pack. Put on a disposable glove and dig down into
some moist soil, then turn the glove inside out tie a knot in it and place it on the fracture
inside the sling. If there is no cool soil nearby you can fill the glove
with water and tie a knot. If the accident victim is no longer able to descend unaided, you should
alert the rescue services. But if descent is possible or necessary because the rescue services cannot come,
the fracture should be splinted to minimize pain. The best solution is an aluminum
splint such as the SAMSPLINT. When making a splint, the joint above and below the fracture site
must also be splinted in order to immobilize the fracture completely. Before putting the splint on the injured arm,
first shape it on the uninjured arm. When the splint is in position, tie it loosely to
the arm to fix it in place. If you don’t have a splint you can improvise using a topo. Once the arm has
been splinted, use a triangular bandage to make a sling. Take the triangular bandage and tie a small knot as close to the
90-degree corner as possible. This will create a pocket for the elbow. Place the bandage under the arm and tie the two loose ends
behind the neck. Make sure the hand itself is also inside the sling. When creating the sling, stand behind the victim. This makes it
easier to adjust the two ends of the triangular bandage for length. If you are involved in an accident when climbing in the mountains,
first aid must be given immediately. This means that anybody who goes into the mountains should have this basic knowledge
so that they can give quick and effective assistance.

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