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A splint is a device used for holding a part of the body stable to decrease pain and prevent further injury.
After an injury, a splint is used to hold still and protect the wounded body part from further damage until you get medical help. It is important to check for good circulation after the injured body part has been immobilized. Splints can be used for different injuries. Any time there is a broken bone, stabilizing the area is important.
DO NOT change the position of, or realign, an injured body part. Be careful when you place a splint to avoid causing more injury. Be sure to pad the splint well to avoid putting extra pressure on the injured limb.
If the injury is more painful after placing the splint, remove the splint and seek medical help right away.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
If an injury occurs while in a remote area, call for emergency medical help as soon as possible. In the meantime, give first aid to the person.
Seek medical help right away for any of the following:
If medical assistance is not available and the injured part looks abnormally bent, gently placing the injured part back into its normal position may improve the circulation.
Safety is the best way to avoid broken bones caused by falling.
Avoid activities that strain the muscles or bones for long periods as these can cause fatigue and falls. Always use protective gear, such as proper footwear, pads, braces, and a helmet.
Splint – instructions
Chudnofsky CR. Splinting techniques. In: Roberts JR, ed. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 50.
Kassel MR, Gianotti A. Splints and slings. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 19.
Update Date 5/9/2015
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team
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