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First Aid 


A dislocation involves partially or fully pulling a bone out of position, specifically at the location of joints, and is characterized by temporary deformity, immobilization, pain, and swelling. Dislocation most commonly occurs in the shoulders, hips, knees, thumb/fingers, elbow, and jaw. A dislocation can appear similar to a fracture; if in doubt, treat the injury like a fracture. To treat a dislocation, take the following steps:

  1. Call for emergency medical assistance.

  2. Immobilize the injured area (with a sling if it's a shoulder dislocation).

  3. Place an ice pack or cold compress on the injured joint.

  4. Monitor circulation in the injured area until help arrives.


Austin, M., Crawford, R., & Armstrong, V. J. (2014). First aid manual. (G. M. Piazza, Ed.) (5th ed.). DK Publishing.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, June 3). Dislocation: First aid. Mayo Clinic.

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