When a victim experiences an injury, a splint is used as part of the immediate first aid to help stabilize the affected area. A splint is an object that is used to stabilize the area where the victim might have experienced a fracture, dislocated joint, or a sprain.
In the event of such an injury, the first goal should be to help the victim immobilize as much of the affected area as possible. Since we can’t see what is happening with the victim underneath the skin’s surface, it is best not to move at all until the situation can be further assessed by a medical professional. This is when a splint comes in handy because it was designed for precisely that purpose. Some splints, like the SAM® Soft Shell Splint were designed to provide both comfort and support as part of the pain management approach for the victim.
It is easy to tell when a victim might need a split. The first and most obvious sign will be the pain that the victim expresses. This will be your first indication that there is some sort of orthopedic injury. They might also be holding the affected limb and in most cases, the victim can pinpoint where the pain is coming from or which area hurts the most.
What Is A Soft Splint?
A soft splint is typically applied at the end of a limb, like the wrist or ankle. A soft splint is perfect for pre and post operative support or after removal of a surgical cast, making it ideal for ERs, PT clinics, homecare, and more.
The SAM® Soft Shell Splint is engineered with the same revolutionary C-Curve™ Principle, building strength from curves. With unrivaled flexibility, SAM® Soft Shell Splint bends into any simple arc, becoming exponentially stronger and more supportive, immobilizing sprains, strains and minimally displaced fractures. The revolutionary C-Curve™ Principle is used to mold its foam and aluminum layers into structural arcs, strong enough for pre- or post-cast care, while remaining lighter and more transportable than traditional splints that rely on heavy, rigid materials. Bend it back into its original form and it’s ready to be remolded.
The SAM® Soft Shell Splint is designed to help significantly minimize the pain and discomfort that is felt by the victim. It is also created to help prevent any further injury to the extremity until the victim can receive proper medical care and attention.
How to Use A Soft Splint When You Need It
If you ever find yourself in a situation where it is immediately obvious that the victim is in need of a soft splint, this is how you would go about administering the necessary first aid for that situation:
- Step 1 – If the injury happens around the victim’s ankle or wrist, the first thing you want to do is check for circulation. Explain to the victim what you are going to do and what you’re trying to help them with to help calm their nerves. Next, you would gently hold the victim’s toes (if it is an ankle injury) or fingers (if it is a wrist injury). Gently squeeze those areas and ask the victim if they feel any sensation when you do this. The reason why you do this is to ensure that there is still circulation before applying any kind of splint to the affected area. Should the medical professional ask later if the splint cut off the victim’s circulation or if there was any circulation to begin with before applying the splint, you or the victim will be able to give them an answer.
- Step 2 – If the victim’s injury is on the ankle, do not remove the footwear they have on. This is especially if they are wearing shoes, sneakers, or high-top boots like hiking boots. This is because the shoe will also act as a form of compressive bandage. This way, when you apply your soft splint, your victim has the additional support the limb might need in the form of their footwear. You could remove it if the footwear is something non-supportive like a sandal or flip flops, but ideally, you want to leave the footwear on where possible.
- Step 3 – Once you’ve determined whether the victim still has circulation in the affected limb, the next step is to take out your SAM® Soft Shell Splint from the first aid kit. Bend the splint to mould it into the shape necessary for the affected limb. For example, if the victim had a wrist injury, you would mould it to the size of the victim’s wrist and forearm. Remove the splint from the packaging and gently slide the splint underneath the affected limb. If done correctly, the limb should be resting comfortably on the splint. Almost like the victim’s limb is nestled in the middle of the splint.
- Step 4 – When you have positioned the splint comfortably under the sprained wrist or ankle, get your bandages and start wrapping it around both the victim’s limb and the SAM® Soft Shell Splint. Wrap it tight (but not too tight to the point it causes any kind of pain to the victim) to ensure that the SAM® Soft Shell Splint is adequately secured to the victim’s limb. Think of the splint as a crutch that your victim’s limb is leaning on for additional support.
- Step 5 – When you’re done securing the splint with the bandages, finish up by tying the bandages into a knot. Make the knot fairly tight so it won’t unravel halfway until the victim can seek the proper medical attention that they need.
Throughout the process, talk to your victim. Keep checking in with them to see how they feel. When applying the splint, check in with them to see how they feel and if they feel the circulation still happening in their limbs. Walking and talking your victim through the process is going to put them at ease. When they are relaxed (despite the injury), it is much easier for you to administer the necessary first aid that the victim needs.