The PRICE protocol for acute injury management

April 07, 2017

It can be argued that the most important period in terms of minimising the effects of an injury and helping to make the rehabilitation process easier, is how that injury is managed in the first 48 hours.

Things TO DO – the PRICE principle:

Protection – immobilize injury wherever possible, this may include the use of crutches, slings or a brace
Rest – as guided by your physiotherapist
Ice – treat 20 minutes every two hours with an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel to avoid burn
Compression – with strapping or tubi-grip, DO NOT wear compression overnight
Elevation – keep the injured area above the level of your heart wherever possible

Things NOT TO DO – the AAA principle:

Alcohol – DO NOT drink alcohol, it thins the blood and increases bleeding, thus making an injury WORSE
Activity – DO NOT use an injured limb unnecessarily, it increases blood flow and could increase bleeding, thus making an injury WORSE
Assessment – DO NOT hesitate to seek the advice of an appropriately qualified physiotherapist who can provide further information about how to manage your injury. Only take medicines if prescribed and do NOT exceed the stated dose.

If you are in any doubt as to the diagnosis or severity of an injury you should seek further advice from a qualified health professional.