If how to make a splint makes you cringe a bit, then you’re well aware that the need for a splint is the result of a painful injury, most likely a broken bone. I distinctly remember breaking the very tip of my finger by slamming a tool box lid on it, I still think my partner did it but he denies it. Besides the initial pain of the finger, it radiated up my arm into my shoulder, throbbing every-time my heart took a beat and lasted for days. My diagnosis, put a splint on it and tough it out until it heals.
I’m not sure if the pressure from the splint or it restricting finger movement reduced the pain, but it did help. So what’s a splint? Simply put, a devise used for holding a part of the body stable to decrease pain and prevent further injury. If a broken or fractured bone is suspected it’s important to keep the break from becoming worse, either by making the break wider or possibly piercing the skin. A splint can be used on any part of the body, even the nose, although not bone, to reduce pain.
How to make a splint and apply it:
1, If there is an open wound at or near the suspected fracture or break, treat it before applying any type of splint. Gently clean, sanitize, apply medicated ointment and a bandage. You don’t want the wound to become infected as that only compounds an already bad situation.
2. Unless professional medical attention is available always splint the injured body part in the position it’s found. Do not try and move the bones around as you most likely will do more damage than good and its extremely painful to the patient.
3. Locate anything rigid to use as supports to make the splint, such as sticks, boards, even tightly rolled up newspaper can be used. If nothing like that is available use a blanket, coat or heavy clothing of some sort. In some instances the injured body part can be firmly taped to an uninjured body part, such as an injured finger or toe taped to an adjacent uninjured finger or toe. The idea is to restrict movement.
4. Make the splint longer than the injured area. Try to include the joint above and below the injury if possible. Remember… severe restriction of movement is the goal.
5. Secure the splint with ties, strips of cloth, belts, tape, long grasses twined together. Do not tie a knot directly on the suspected break as you don’t want anything applying pressure to it. Do not secure the ties too tightly as you may risk cutting off blood flow creating a worse situation.
6. Check the injured area periodically looking for swelling, paleness or numbness. Should any of those conditions present themselves, loosen the ties.
7. Seek out professional medical help asap.
As stated before, Do Not attempt to change the position or realign the injured body part. Be careful while applying the splint remembering the more the part is moved the more pain the patient suffers. Try and pad the splint to avoid applying excess pressure to the break/fracture. If the pain is greater after applying the splint. Re-position the splints or remove all together.
How to make a splint in a dire emergency is critical, but the first thing anybody should do when a party member is severely injured is immediately try and contact help. I’m going to contradict strict rules I just gave you, but in a dire emergency sometimes a person must do the unthinkable.
For the following:
1. A bone protruding through the skin
2. An open and heavy bleeding wound around the injury
3. A loss of feeling or sensation in the area by the patient
4. Loss of pulse or an increasing feeling of warmth to the injured site
5. Fingers or toes beginning to turn blue and losing sensation
6. Injured part is abnormally bent or twisted
You may be required to gently replace the body part into its normal position. The patient must be bound or held tightly down to prevent unwanted movement while adjusting the break. This is not recommended but the above listed symptoms may indicate loss of circulation which can result in gangrene and loss of limb.
It goes without saying using safe techniques and being aware of your surroundings is the best way to prevent broken bones by falling. Always wear protective gear and avoid getting too fatigued as accidents are more prone to occur when you’re very tired. Knowing how to make a splint is a skill anyone who enjoys and ventures into the outdoors should have.