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Forearm Fracture
There are two long bones in the forearm, the radius and the ulna. When both are broken, the arm usually appears to be deformed. When only one is broken, the other acts as a splint and the arm retains a more or less natural appearance. Any fracture of the forearm is likely to result in pain, tenderness, inability to use the forearm, and a kind of wobbly motion at the point of injury. If the fracture is open, a bone will show through.

If the fracture is open, stop the bleeding and treat the wound. Apply a sterile dressing over the wound. Carefully straighten the forearm. (Remember that rough handling of a closed fracture may turn it into an open fracture.) Apply a pneumatic splint if available; if not, apply two well-padded splints to the forearm, one on the top and one on the bottom. Be sure that the splints are long enough to extend from the elbow to the wrist. Use bandages to hold the splints in place. Put the forearm across the chest. The palm of the hand should be turned in, with the thumb pointing upward. Support the forearm in this position by means of a wide sling and a cravat bandage, as shown in figure 4-35. The hand should be raised about 4 inches above the level of the elbow. Treat the victim for shock and evacuate as soon as possible.

Upper Arm Fracture
The signs of fracture of the upper arm include pain, tenderness, swelling, and a wobbly motion at the point

Figure 4-35.-First aid for a fractured forearm.

of fracture. If the fracture is near the elbow, the arm is likely to be straight with no bend at the elbow.

If the fracture is open, stop the bleeding and treat the wound before attempting to treat the fracture.

NOTE: Treatment of the fracture depends partly upon the location of the break.

If the fracture is in the upper part of the arm near the shoulder, place a pad or folded towel in the armpit, bandage the arm securely to the body, and support the forearm in a narrow sling.

If the fracture is in the middle of the upper arm, you can use one well-padded splint on the outside of the arm. The splint should extend from the shoulder to the elbow. Fasten the splinted arm firmly to the body and support the forearm in a narrow sling, as shown in figure 4-36.

Another way of treating a fracture in the middle of the upper arm is to fasten two wide splints (or four narrow ones) about the arm and then support the forearm in a narrow sling. If you use a splint between the arm and the body, be very careful that it does not extend too far up into the armpit; a splint in this position can cause a dangerous compression of the blood vessels and nerves and may be extremely painful to the victim.

If the fracture is at or near the elbow, the arm may be either bent or straight. No matter in what position you find the arm, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STRAIGHTEN IT OR MOVE IT IN ANY WAY. Splint the arm as carefully as possible in the position in which you find it. This will prevent further nerve and blood vessel damage. The only exception to this is if there is no pulse distal to the fracture, in which case gentle traction is applied and then the arm is splinted. Treat the victim for shock and get him under the care of a medical officer as soon as possible.

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