Minor bruises require no special care. If the injury is more severe, take measures to protect the injured area.

If the injury is on an extremity, apply the following measures. The mnemonic device ICES (ice, compression, elevation, splint) may help you to remember the treatment procedures.

a. Ice.

Apply cold (ice bag or chemical pack) to help reduce swelling and pain.

CAUTION: Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Applying ice directly to the skin could result in cold injury damage to the skin and underlying tissues. Use an ice bag or wrap the ice in cloth material to protect the casualty’s skin.

b. Compression.

Apply localized compression (elastic roller bandage or pneumatic counterpressure device) to help control bleeding and swelling. An elastic bandage can be applied to the injured limb using the techniques described in Lesson 2.

c. Elevation.

Elevate the affected body part. If a fracture is involved, apply a splint before elevating the limb.

d. Splint.

Apply a splint to the affected limb. If a fracture is involved, applying a splint is a must. Even if the limb does not have a fractured bone, applying a splint to the limb may help to reduce pain and prevent further injury. A pneumatic (air inflatable) splint can be applied to an extremity. The device will immobilize the suspected fracture and also apply pressure to help control internal bleeding.

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