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how to make a splint

Alternative Names 
instructions on how to make a splint

A splint is a rigid device that is used for supporting an injured body part. The use of a splint is usually considered to be temporary, to prevent movement until medical help is received. There are many splints that may be temporary but are used for longer periods of time. Sometimes people can remove their splints to change clothes and bathe and to reposition the splint.

What are the causes and risks of the injury? 
The splint is used to immobilise and restrict movement of an injured body part. Temporary splints made at home are used to prevent further injury until medical help can be obtained.

What are the treatments for the injury? 
How to make a splint:
  • Attempt to splint injuries in the position in which they are found. Do not try to straighten them or realign any injured body part. This is something that should be left for medical professionals.
  • Find something that is rigid, usually a piece of wood, a board, or a stick. Even strong cardboard or styrofoam will do. Place the solid object against the injured body part. Wrap tape around the rigid object and the body part. This will prevent the injured body part from further movement.
  • Extend the splint beyond the injured area. Try to prevent movement of the joints above and the joints below the injured area, if possible. Sometimes this will be impossible because of the location of the injury.
  • Once the splint has been secured in place, one may also use other devices such as belts, or cloth strips to secure the splint. Avoid making knots and ties too tight to keep from stopping blood circulation. Check frequently to make sure that circulation is not cut off after the splint has been placed.
  • Seek treatment from a physician or doctor.
What happens after treatment for the injury? 
After treatment, the person may be put in a more permanent splint or in a cast. There may be more definitive treatment required. This will be up to the discretion of the doctor.

Author: James Broomfield, MD
Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 17/10/2004
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

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