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Treating a Fracture in the Wilderness

Being injured in the outdoors can be a very serious issue, especially if you are miles away from the nearest aid station or hospital.  But suffering an injury while hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, or enjoying one of any number of outdoor recreational activities can be more than a minor inconvenience; suffering such an injury as a broken bone in the wild can quickly turn into a survival situation.

Breaking a bone in the wild or being in a group of people where one of the group members has broken a bone will require an individual or team of individuals to know exactly what to do to render aid to the injured person or to oneself.  And the very first thing that persons in this situation will need to do is seek professional medical help and stop bleeding if it is a compound fracture.

If the person or group is within cell service, making a call immediately for help can be potentially lifesaving for the injured person as will stopping any bleeding by applying pressure to the open wound with a clean cloth or rag.  If, however, the bone is visible, a person should not touch the bone or try to replace it as this could lead to further injury and possible infection.

To make the injured person ready for travel and to stabilize the fractured bone, a splint using natural resources or from a first aid kit will need to be crafted and implemented.  It should here be noted that a splint should only be applied if the person splinting the injury is competent in doing so, as further injury could occur if the person performing the splinting is not competent in doing so.

Splinting a broken bone means stabilizing the injured area from movement by securing the major joints flanking the fractured area.  As an example, a bone in the lower leg is fractured; the split should immobilize the knee joint and the ankle so as to limit the possibility of further injury to the facture from these joints forcibly moving the affected area.

After doing all that a person is capable of doing to treat the fracture, the injured area should be treated for inflammation by applying an ice pack or similar cooling device and elevated.  With this done, the group or individual can make a plan for receiving professional help from emergency personal.