How to Treat Broken Ribs
A violent blow to the chest, or a heavy fall, can break one of the ribs, causing a sharp chest pain when the injured person attempts to breathe deeply or coughs.
The site of the injury will feel extremely tender and will swell. Pain will increase with movement, including deep breathing or coughing, and there may be a crackling sound from the ribs.
But the injured person is not likely to feel ill and will have no serious difficulty in breathing, even though he may keep his breaths shallow to avoid the pain.
1. Make the person as comfortable as possible by putting the arm on the injured side in an arm sling.
2. Take him to the Accident and Emergency Department of your local hospital. Use a car if there are no complications (see below).
WHEN TO CALL AN AMBULANCE
A person who has had a severe blow to the chest may have suffered a serious injury if:
• He is unable to breathe properly, and seems to be suffocating.
• Red frothy blood comes from his mouth.
• He becomes restless and thirsty.
If he shows any of these symptoms, telephone 999 at once and ask for an ambulance.