FAQ Level 3 Award for First Responders on Scene: Emergency First Responder (RQF) FROS® - Online Blended Part 1

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Strains and Sprains and the RICE procedure

Video 168 of 218
3 min 36 sec
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Dealing with Strains, Sprains, and Muscle Tears: First Aid

Understanding Common Injuries

Strain: Occurs when a muscle is stretched or torn, often involving tendon damage. Symptoms include bruising, swelling, and pain.

Sprain: Involves stretching or tearing of ligaments, commonly seen in the ankle due to sudden joint wrenching. Damages surrounding tissues.

Muscle Tear: Such as hamstring injuries in the leg, involve torn muscle fibers, resulting in severe pain and swelling.

First Aid Treatment: RICE Method

Whether it's a strain or sprain, the initial first aid treatment is the same, focusing on reducing swelling and pain.

RICE Method:

  • R - Rest: Help the person sit or lie down comfortably, supporting the injured limb.
  • I - Ice: Apply a cold compress like an ice pack (wrapped in cloth) to reduce swelling.
  • C - Comfortable Support: Apply soft padding and use a conforming or crepe bandage to secure the cold compress gently. Monitor circulation every 10 minutes.
  • E - Elevate: Raise the injured limb using pillows, a bag, or a chair to further reduce swelling.

Note: Do not apply ice or cold packs directly to the skin to prevent burns.

Moving the Injured Person

Considerations for Moving:

In the case of a wrist or arm injury, you can usually place the arm in a horizontal sling and assist the person in moving once initial treatment is provided. Be cautious, as they may feel faint or experience significant pain. Help them stand up gradually.

For leg or ankle injuries, moving the person can be challenging, and you may need to call for assistance. Ensure they avoid putting weight on the affected area, as swelling and pain can worsen when the limb is no longer elevated.

If necessary, assist them in hopping to safety or stay with them until professional help arrives.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit three LO1.1, 1.2 & 2.1