In a medical emergency call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

The DRSABCD Action Plan is the first step when providing first aid. Use this to assess the immediate situation. DRSABCD Danger > Response > Send for help > Airway > Breathing > CPR > Defibrillation.

Warning
It can be difficult to tell whether an injury is a fracture, dislocation, sprain or strain. If in doubt, always treat as a fracture.

Signs and symptoms
Sprain

• Intense pain
• Restricted movement of the injured joint
• Rapid development of swelling and bruising

Strain
• Sharp, sudden pain in the region of the injury
• Usually loss of power
• Muscle tenderness

What to do
1. Follow DRSABCD.

2. Follow RICE:
Rest – rest the patient and the injured part
Ice – apply an ice pack or cold pack for 15 minutes every 2 hours for 24 hours, then for 15 minutes every 4 hours for 24 hours
Compression – apply a compression bandage firmly to extend well beyond the injury
Elevation – elevate the injured part.

3. Avoid HARM:
Heat
Alcohol
Running or other exercise of the injured area
Massage.

4. Seek medical aid.


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All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Information originally published by St John Ambulance Australia.

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