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broken bones and splints


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17 replies to this topic

#1 emtcutie

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:19 PM

i dont know who in here has ever done hiking or ground search and rescue, but i am curious as to what you guys think would be the best in mking a make-shift splint. my theory was using thick sticks and strips of fabric, but i've also hear of using pillows, newpaper, ive even heard of someone using an umbrella... if anyone has experiance with this, what would you reccomend?

Edited by emtcutie, 06 January 2011 - 05:20 PM.

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#2 HERBIE1

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:35 PM

i dont know who in here has ever done hiking or ground search and rescue, but i am curious as to what you guys think would be the best in mking a make-shift splint. my theory was using thick sticks and strips of fabric, but i've also hear of using pillows, newpaper, ive even heard of someone using an umbrella... if anyone has experiance with this, what would you reccomend?


Assuming you did not have a dedicated first aid kit, anything you can find would be suitable. Large sticks, vines, umbrellas, tent poles/stakes, rolled up newspapers or magazines, books, pieces of a frame on a backpack-in other words, whatever you could scrounge up. Think about what you are trying to accomplish, which body part needs to be immobilized, does the victim need to be mobile, is it simply about support, or also protection of an injury site.

Obviously there are commercial, compact kits available, but I assume you are talking about improvisation here.
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#3 Happiness

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:36 PM

I will normaly use a Pillow and Zap straps for a broken ankle. I have also seen sticks used as splints before I arrived on scene with ducktape and left on as the pt said that it felt good. Checked the pedals before the hike out of bush.
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#4 uglyEMT

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:50 PM

When it comes to backwoods treatments and as you stated "make-shift" ANYTHING goes.

I would look for strong branches or sticks that are relatively straight. Strips of fabric make excellent bandages to secure them, just think crevats. The umbrella would work as well due to the rigidity. When it comes to splints anything rigid and hard (not flexable) will work. Duct Tape works wonders too in a pinch.

Now if I was part of a SAR team I would be carring a small assortment of hard splints or SAM splints and a few crevats. Can keep them in a small back pack or larger fanny pack.

Even when I go hiking or camping I carry 2 SAM splints and a few crevats with me in my pack. You just never know!
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#5 Stitches

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:11 PM

Get your WFR, the stuff they cover in those classes is pretty good.

When I took it, we had to improvise all our splints, and the idea was we'd put a bunch of bulky stuff - sleaping pads/bags, jackets, tarp, blankets, extra clothes... - all around the area, then strap it down. As you compressed it, it would become stiff, rigid, and if you don't mind my saying so, quite svelt.

A pillow would definately work, if you happen to have one in the middle of no-where. An umbrella is going to be kinda long, and I'd be hesitant to use it as a splint if its the only rain gear available. If its of the shorter variety, it would only work for forearm and maybe tib/fib fractures. The long ones are so bendy, I'd hesitate to use them for a femure fracture that requires a traction splint. Sticks might work, but chances are, the time and energy expended trying to find one thats going to work would be spent gathering everryones sweatpants and extra socks. As for magazines, my grandpa was a doc a long time ago, and used some reading material as a splint when the neighbor kid broke his wrist.

If you're interestred in EMS in an outdoor setting, I highly recomend going through NOLS and getting your Wilderness FIrst Responder. I mean, come on, where else can you learn how to improvise a traction splint?

Edited by Stitches, 06 January 2011 - 07:13 PM.

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