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Take these first aid steps if you suspect a broken bone

As a bicyclist, you know that you don't have much protection between you and the road. For this reason, you do whatever it takes to avoid an accident.

Unfortunately, even if you're driving in a safe manner, others may not be as cautious. This often leads to a situation in which a driver strikes a bicyclist with his or her vehicle. This type of accident can cause many injuries, with broken bones among the most common.

If you have reason to believe that you've broken a bone, such as in a bicycle accident, here are some first aid steps you can take until help arrives:

-- Stop the bleeding. If any part of your body is bleeding, even if it's not around the site of the broken bone, apply pressure with a clean article of clothing or cloth.

-- Stay put and immobilize the injured area. You may be tempted to move, such as to "walk it off." Or maybe you get the idea of trying to push the bone back into your body. You don't want to do anything to make your situation worse, so the best step you can take is simple immobilizing the injured area and waiting for help.

-- Be aware of shock. A bicycle accident can cause serious injury, thus leading to shock. If you or somebody else is exhibiting signs of shock - such as feeling faint or taking rapid breaths - attempt to move your head slightly lower than the rest of your body.

If you're involved in a bicycle accident, your health and wellbeing always comes first. Once you are stabilized, you can then focus on your legal rights and how to receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Fractures (broken bones): First aid," accessed Dec. 14, 2016

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