Always check for dangers before proceeding and care for the airway, breathing and circulation. Following the Basic Life Support flowchart takes priority over any fracture.
Always control any severe bleeding before managing any fractures.
The main aim of managing fractures is to prevent movement of the broken bones at the site of the injury. Immobilisation helps to reduce pain and stops the injury becoming worse.
For fracture in a limb, it is preferable to immobilise the joints above and below the fracture first, then above and below the fracture site itself.
Check fractured limbs for a pulse at the wrist or feet. If finding a pulse becomes difficult, simply check the colour and temperature of the hand. If the hand is warm and normal colour, there is circulation. If the hand is cold and blue and the environment is warm, either there is no circulation or it's impaired. If no circulation detected, seek urgent medical assistance (Ambulance).
Check nerve function
Check for affected nerve function: sensation in the injured limb.
If no pulse or evidence of circulation can be found, or nerve function is changed, seek urgent medical help: call 000 for ambulance.
Never place a fractured limb into a position simply because it is 'recommended'. If a fractured limb is deformed and you find it difficult to realign and splint, place it in the position of most comfort.
The key to managing any fracture is immobilisation and comfort.