First aid treatment for broken and dislocated bones

Essential first aid guide: Treating broken and dislocated bones

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and being equipped with the knowledge of first aid can be the difference between a quick recovery and prolonged discomfort. In this blog, Rose will delve into the critical aspects of treating broken and dislocated bones, shedding light on key facts, legislative considerations, and best practices to empower you to respond effectively in emergency situations.

Key definitions

  • Fracture - A break or crack in a bone, often resulting from trauma or excessive force.
  • Dislocation - Occurs when the ends of two connected bones are forced out of their normal position at a joint.
  • Third-degree burns - The most severe type, these burns extend through all layers of the skin and may even damage underlying tissue and bone.

Key facts and statistics

  • Bone fractures and dislocations are prevalent injuries, with approximately 3.5 million cases reported in the UK each year (NHS Digital).
  • Prompt and appropriate first aid intervention significantly reduces the risk of complications and promotes faster healing.
  • Inadequate or incorrect treatment of bone injuries can lead to long-term impairment and chronic pain.

Legislation, regulations, and best practices

  • The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 mandate employers to provide adequate first aid facilities, equipment, and trained personnel in the workplace.
  • The Resuscitation Council UK offers guidelines on first aid procedures, including the management of bone injuries.
  • Best practice involves immobilising the injured limb using splints or improvised materials to prevent further damage and ease transport to medical facilities.

Recognising the signs

  • Symptoms of a broken bone include severe pain, swelling, deformity, and inability to bear weight.
  • Dislocations are characterised by intense pain, joint deformity, and limited range of motion.

Immediate response

  • Assess the situation - Ensure safety for yourself and the casualty before approaching.
  • Provide comfort - Reassure the injured individual and encourage them to remain calm.
  • Control bleeding - Apply direct pressure to any open wounds using a sterile dressing.
  • Immobilise the Injury - Use improvised splints or padding to stabilise the affected area and prevent further movement.

If possible, arrange for medical assistance or transport the casualty to the nearest healthcare facility. To minimise pain and risk of further injury, avoid unnecessary movement or manipulation of the injured limb during transportation.


  • Familiarise yourself with basic first aid techniques through accredited training courses.
  • Regularly review and update first aid kits and equipment in accordance with regulatory requirements.
  • Encourage workplace colleagues and family members to undergo first aid training to create a safer environment for all.


In moments of crisis, the ability to administer effective first aid can be a lifesaving skill. By understanding the principles of treating broken and dislocated bones, you can play a vital role in providing immediate care and promoting recovery. Let's commit to staying informed, prepared, and proactive in safeguarding the well-being of ourselves and those around us.

Ready to enhance your first aid knowledge? Click here to explore our range of accredited first aid training courses today and take the first step towards becoming a certified lifesaver. Remember, being prepared can make all the difference in an emergency situation. Stay informed, stay safe.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Treating broken and dislocated bones - The crucial role of paediatric first aid - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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