Broken Hand

  • The person is seriously injured or unconscious.
  • The hand is numb or cold.
  • The skin under the fingernail is blue.
  • Bone is sticking out of the skin.
  • Bleeding doesn’t stop after several minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.
Stop Bleeding if Necessary:
  • Apply firm pressure with a clean cloth until bleeding stops.
  • If the bone is pushing through the skin, do not touch it or try to put it back in place.
Control Swelling:
  • Apply an ice pack (do not put ice directly on the skin).
  • If possible, remove any jewelry immediately.
Immobilize the Hand:

If the person’s hand is numb or cold or the skin under the fingernails is blue, do not move the hand or arm. Otherwise

  • Have the person bend the arm at the elbow.
  • Do not try to straighten the hand if it bent or deformed.
  • Tie a splint on the lower arm with fabric or elastic bandages. Cardboard, rolled-up newspaper, or other stiff material can be used as a splint.
  • Make a sling and place the person’s arm in it. Tie the sling around his or her neck.
  • See a Health Care Provider Immediately
Follow Up:
  • The health care provider will likely take X-rays and check for feeling and range of motion in the hand to determine whether there has been nerve or tendon damage.
  • The health care provider may apply a splint or cast.
  • Surgery may be needed for more complicated fractures.