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ROYAL AIR FORCE. COMMON CORE AND DEPLOYMENT SKILLS AIDE-MEMOIRE

FRACTURES

YOUR AIMS

◉ Minimise blood loss and infection.

◉ Minimise movement at injury site.

◉ Minimise swelling and pain.

◉ Arrange evacuation to medical aid.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

◉ Evidence of a blow or fall.

◉ Possible sound of the bone breaking.

◉ Pain and deformity.

◉ Loss of function.

◉ Swelling and bruising.

◉ Possible crepitus (grinding of bone).

◉ Shock.

YOUR ACTIONS

◉ Do not move casualty until injury is stabilised (unless in danger).

◉ Steady and support limb/body as applicable.

◉ Stop bleeding and dress open fracture, if applicable.

◉ Immobilise the fracture with suitable splints.

◉ Elevate the limb if possible.

◉ Treat for shock.

◉ Evacuate to medical aid, minimising further aggravation of injury.

◉ Check circulation beyond the bandaging every 10 minutes.

SPINAL INJURY

YOUR AIMS

◉ To maintain an open airway and resuscitate, if necessary.

◉ To prevent further injury.

◉ To arrange urgent removal to hospital.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

◉ Pain in neck or back at site of injury.

◉ Step or twist in curve of spine.

◉ Tenderness of spine.

◉ Loss of control over limbs.

◉ Movement weak or absent.

◉ Abnormal/loss of sensations.

◉ Loss of bladder/bowel control.

◉ Breathing difficulty.

SPINAL INJURY CAUSES (Examples)

◉ Falling from a height.

◉ Falling awkwardly.

◉ Being thrown from a motorbike.

◉ Participation in contact sports.

◉ Heavy object falling on or across the back or neck.

◉ Injury to the head or face.

YOUR ACTIONS

Conscious casualty - support only:

◉ Reassure casualty and prevent movement.

◉ Seek specialist medical aid without delay.

◉ Steady and support the head in the neutral head position, in which the head, neck and spine all aligned.

◉ Monitor and record vital signs.

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