Basic First Aid for Fractured Hips
Our hip consists of a ball and socket joint which allows excellent rotation abilities that allows the leg to bend and rotate around the pelvis. The hip is one of the most frequently used parts of our body and a sudden impact force to the femur can result in a break, commonly known as a hip fracture. Hip fracture is a serious orthopaedic condition and surgery is required to treat it. What happens when someone experiences a fractured hip? What can you do to help him out immediately? What is the basic first aid that can be carried out? Let’s discuss some of them in this article.
Hip fractures are much more common in the elderly due to the weakening of bones due to ageing. However, this does not mean that the younger people will not suffer from hip fracture. The first thing that you should and must do is to call 995. Do not attempt to move the patient as it may worsen the condition. Tell the 995 operator about what happened and describe to him the patient’s condition. Listen to the instructions provided by the operator and do not try to deviate from it. Always try to let the patient feel as comfortable as possible. If able, try to place a soft object such as a cushion or pillow under his head. Although the patient looks weak and pale, do not give him any food or drinks to consume as he may have to undergo a surgery immediately and his stomach needs to be empty to prevent any complications.
If you are a trained first aider equipped with the necessary knowledge, you may attempt to proceed further by immobilising his limbs. Immobilise his legs with thick layers of soft materials such as towels and hold them in place with heavy objects. Be generous with the padding and they should go from above the hips to below the knee. Check for signs of shock for the patient. Shock can be life threatening and the earlier it is treated, the higher the chances of survival and recovery. Some common signs of shock include sweating, rapid pulse, weak breathing, weak pulse and vomiting. Help the patient remove any skin tight clothing and if the victim is of an opposite sex, find a female passerby who is willing to stay with you until the paramedics arrive as a witness in case of any accusation of molest. Help the patient remain warm and calm him down. Try to keep him conscious by talking to him and providing him lots of fresh air.
First aid following a hip fracture is extremely crucial in ensuring the treatment and recovery of the patient, particularly if he has gone into shock. However, it is important that you yourself are well trained and qualified to provide him first aid. If you are untrained, it is better to leave him alone until the paramedics arrive as you could do more harm than good.