Summer is here and that means 6 glorious weeks of YOU trying EVERYTHING in your power as a parent to stop your little bundle of joy from getting bored. Because if they get bored, they get mischievous. If they get mischievous things get broken and that includes bones.
So firstly let’s look at the terminology and cover one of the most commonly asked questions. What is the difference between a FRACTURE and a BREAK? Well you will be pleased to know there is no difference at all. They both mean the same thing, it seems that doctors like to use the term fracture to come across more educated when in fact they are one in the same. If a bone has a crack in it it is broken, if it is shattered into lots of pieces it is still broken. Those most at risk of broken bones are children and the elderly due to the frailty of the bone at these ages.
I’m sure you have watched the TV and all the medical programmes like Casualty or Holby City. Have you ever wondered “what the hell does that mean” as the Paramedics , Doctors and nurses are babbling on, well here is a little insight into the types of broken bones you can come across.
A closed fracture is when your bone breaks or cracks, but it doesn’t break through your skin.
An open fracture (also called compound fracture) is when a broken bone breaks through your skin. These are more serious because you might develop an infection in the bone and wound.
A comminuted fracture is where your bone breaks into three or more pieces.
The Most common for children is a green stick fracture this is where your bone breaks on one side but is bent on the other. Only children get these fractures because they have softer bones.
What causes bones to break?
You have over 200 bones in your body that make up your skeleton. That is a massive choice to break. Thankfully they are generally quite strong however sometimes due to genetic reasons, age or a traumatic event the integrity of your bone is compromised and it breaks.
How do we recognise a broken bone?
Loss of movement
Swelling & Bruising
What to do?
It can be difficult to tell if a person has a broken bone. Some sprains or strains can be as painful if not more so than a broken bone If you’re in any doubt, treat the injury as a broken bone.
Danger – to you and the patient
Response – awake or unconscious?
Airway – is it clear?
Breathing – are they breathing?
Circulation – Control any bleeding.
If the person is unconscious, has difficulty breathing or is bleeding severely, these are life threatening and must be dealt with first, by controlling the bleeding with direct pressure and performing CPR.
If the person is conscious, prevent any further pain or damage by keeping the fracture as still as possible until you get them safely to hospital.
Assess the injury and decide whether the best way to get them to hospital is by ambulance or car. if the pain isn’t too severe, you could consider transporting them to hospital by car. get someone else to drive, so that you can deal with the casualty if they deteriorate – for example, if they lose consciousness as a result of the pain or start to vomit.
Things to consider and if necessary call 999 for an ambulance.
• they’re in a lot of pain and in need of strong painkilling medication, don’t move them and call an ambulance
• it’s obvious they have a broken leg, don’t move them, but keep them in the position you found them in and call an ambulance
• you suspect they have injured or broken their back, don’t move them and call an ambulance
Don’t give the casualty anything to eat or drink, because they may need emergency surgery to fix the break when they reach hospital.
Ok so all the boring stuff is out of the way here is a video NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED.
Once you have watched this you will be more than competent in recognising broke bones and also for those of you with boys will probably never let them out.
Heart attack!!!! Those two words fill people with Fear. As soon as people hear heart attack immediately they think of death. Quite rightly because if you do not recognise the symptoms it can rapidly lead to a cardiac arrest.
What is the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?
a popular misconception is that they are one in the same. This is not true, whilst they are linked they are also two different entities.
A heart attack happens when there is a narrowing/blockage in the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle itself. The heart like any other muscle in the body needs a good supply of oxygen rich blood to survive. If this flow is interrupted then the muscle cells start to die making the heart less efficient in pumping. Eventually if this is not rectified it will stop completely (cardiac arrest).
A cardiac arrest is time critical and immediately life threatening condition. It can be caused by a number of factors including drugs, trauma and heart attacks. A cardiac arrest is defined as the cessation of the heart pumping blood around the body.
Signs and symptoms of a Heart Attack.
Heart attack symptoms vary from one person to another. The most common signs of a heart attack are:
- chest pain: tightness, heaviness, pain or a burning feeling in your chest
- pain in arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach: for some people, the pain or tightness is severe, while other people just feel uncomfortable
- feeling light-headed
- become short of breath
- feeling nauseous or vomiting.
- grey looking skin
these symptoms are not exhaustive and if you suspect someone is having a heart attack you need to ring 999 for an ambulance.
Call 999 or 112 for an ambulance and tell them you think someone is having a heart attack.
Make the person comfortable,
help move them into the most comfortable position.
The best position is on the floor leaning against a wall with knees bent and head and shoulders supported.
This should ease the pressure on their heart and stop them hurting themselves if they collapse.
Give them a 300mg aspirin, if available make sure they are not allergic to it by asking them, and tell them to chew it slowly.
Be aware that they may become unresponsive and collapse before help arrives if this happens
If they lose responsiveness at any point, stay clam and open their airway, check their breathing, and prepare to treat someone who has become unresponsive. You may need to do CPR. Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation at a rate of 30 chest compressions to 2 breaths.