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Average ER Wait Times

Overland Park Regional Medical Center

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ER of Olathe (freestanding)

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ER of Shawnee (freestanding)

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Pediatric ER of Overland Park

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First Aid: Dislocations

by Health Tip

A dislocation is when two connected bones become separated. Dislocations are caused by falls and hard impacts, such as in sports injuries, and are more common in teens than young children. These injuries require emergency medical care to avoid further damage.

Signs and Symptoms

A joint is where two or more bones come together. A joint may be dislocated if it is:

  • swollen
  • bruised or red
  • painful
  • difficult to move
  • out of place

What to Do

If you think your young athlete has a dislocation, seek emergency medical care or call 911. Until care is received, do the following:

  • Leave the joint alone. Attempting to move or jam a dislocated bone back in can damage blood vessels, muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
  • Apply an ice pack. Ice can ease swelling and pain in and around the joint.
  • Use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.

Think Prevention!

  • Wear the appropriate safety gear during sports activities.
  • Supervision is key — a hard fall can happen anywhere, anytime.
  • Avoid tugging hard on an arm or shoulder, which can cause injury or dislocation.
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