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.


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. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional. Our nurses are available 24/7 to help you find the care you need.

Information originally published by St John Ambulance Australia.

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