Fractured Or Broken Finger First Aid Treatment
Nothing is more inconvenient than sustaining a fractured or broken finger or two. We take having the use of our fingers for granted until the time comes that the bones of the fingers are injured, and it becomes painful to use them for the most basic functions.
Being extremities, the fingers lack the protection our vital organs are afforded. That means they are at the mercy of our actions, and for the most part, the type of fracture a broken finger sustains is stable and easily treated.
When we play sports, do martial arts, or undertake activities that involve catching flying objects, the chances of breaking such a fragile bone or bones means our fingers become a sitting target for sporting injuries, but do you know how to give and apply First Aid treatment to a broken finger?
Sports isn’t the only way we break fingers. Sometimes we jamb them in doors, hit them with tools, or wedge them under heavy objects. No matter what the cause of a fracture, the treatment is the same unless an orthopaedic surgeon assesses the injury, and a surgical procedure is recommended to prevent permanent disability and reduced range of motion in the future.
What IS The First Aid Treatment For A Broken Finger
The definition of First Aid is to provide medical assistance as a first responder. When you set out to treat any accident around the home, workplace, sporting club, or out in the street, you are providing First Aid to the person in need of assistance.
If you have never taken a First Aid course, now is the perfect time to check out your nearest FACE First Aid training organisation and book your place on the next available course. In the meantime, let’s address how we treat a broken finger in the initial minutes post the injury occurring.
Broken Finger Video:
- Ice the injured hand for twenty minutes
Ice is used on broken fingers to constrict the blood vessels and prevent them from expanding to allow an excess of blood to flood into the injury and cause swelling. Ice won’t stop the swelling entirely, but it will slow it down and keep the initial pain under control with numbness.
- Assess the injury
Examine the finger or fingers that have been injured for any obvious dislocations of the three joints in the injured finger. If there is nothing obviously bent, snapped or at an odd angle, then compare the fingers of the injured hand to the non-injured hand and look for differences. Swelling and bruising will be present 20 minutes after the injury is received.
- Ask them to rate their pain level out of 10
Asking the injured person to rate their pain level from 1 -10, with 1 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain they have ever felt, you get an idea of how serious the injury can be.
Unlike sprains and dislocations, fractures give off an intense level of excruciating pain the moment they break. Then, somewhat illogically, that initial screaming agony drops back to about a five or six on most people’s scale. This is because the damage has been done once the bone has broken. The only thing that causes pain is direct pressure on the broken finger or movement that causes the broken bones to move against each other.
- Tape the injured finger to the one next to it
Regardless of which finger has been injured, the best way to treat a broken finger is to secure it with a self-adhesive bandage or low-tack medical-grade tape.
By companion binding the two fingers together, it prevents the broken finger from being used. In some cases, placing a tongue depressor or paddle pop stick under the injured finger and then taping it into place can be used as a stop-gap measure until a medical finger splint can be purchased from the chemist and used to surround and protect the entire finger. You may wish to use a sling to help keep the injured hand secure and prevent further injury until you can visit your doctor or emergency room for assessment.
- Seek medical assessment
Anytime an injury is sustained that involves broken bones, a medical assessment is required to ensure the correct treatment is given. Not getting the proper assessment and treatment can cause the break to heal incorrectly, impairing the finger function and delaying the healing process.
Your doctor will order X-rays to confirm if the bone has been fractured or broken. The difference isn’t that great, except that a fracture can be hairline thin and heal unassisted within two weeks. A break for the purpose of this context means the bone has separated into two or more distinct parts.
When this happens, surgical intervention is required to pin the bones together so the bone can reform and fix the break. Without the surgical intervention, the bones won’t heal; they will float in the space without a blood supply and eventually cause other medical problems that, left untreated, could lead to a fatal outcome in the worst-case scenario, certainly an expensive one in the best case.
First Aid Knowledge And Certification
First Aid knowledge and certification are beneficial in all areas of your life when you have been correctly trained in providing First Aid and CPR. Gaining your qualifications in First Aid is easy and can be done online via a zoom link, partially online and partially in the classroom, and full classroom assessment.
There are no excuses for not being the best you that you can be. For less than $100 per person with discounts for group booking, now is the perfect time to sign yourself and your family up to receive your nationally accredited First Aid certification.
Swing by our First Aid Course Experts Blog page and read up on a wide range of topics for inspiration, motivation, and education. Take our First aid quiz and see where your current First Aid skills lie and where they might require improvement.