How to perform first aid for a dislocation

A dislocation occurs when one or more bones are displaced at a joint, this is most often at the shoulders, elbow, kneecap or fingers.

What to do

  1. Follow DRSABCD St John WA Action Plan
  2. Assist the casualty to sit or lie down in a comfortable position and reassure.
  3. DO NOT attempt to put back into position.
  4. If the injury is to a limb:
    + Check blood flow – if absent move limb gently to try and restore it.
    + Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.
    + Apply icepacks if possible, directly over the joint.
    + Rest and support the limb with padding and bandages.
  5. Shoulder:
    + Support the casualties arm in position of least discomfort.
  6. Wrist:
    + Apply a sling in a position of comfort.

Caused by

  • A sudden impact on the joint.
  • Forceful muscle contraction.

    Signs and symptoms

    • Pain at or near the site of injury.
    • Difficult or impossible to move the joint.
    • Loss of power.
    • Deformity or abnormal movement.
    • Tenderness.
    • Swelling.
    • Discolouration and bruising.