After an injury, a splint is used as part of the first aid to stabilize the affected area. Immediately after an accident, the most crucial goal is to immobilize the affected area as much as possible. Since it's impossible to understand what's happening under the affected area's skin, it's vital to avoid moving until medical professionals assess the situation and give direction.
While waiting for health providers to assess the situation, it might help to support the injured area with a soft splint to ensure the victim is comfortable, yet safe from excess moving. Besides providing support and ensuring comfort, soft splints also reduce pain in the injured area.
When Does One Require A Soft Splint?
It's not impossible to tell when a victim requires a soft splint. For instance, when someone is injured and is in a lot of pain, they are more likely to require a splint to reduce pain. Also, if the victim has broken bones, strains, sprains, dislocated bones, or tendon ruptures, they might require a soft splint for support and comfort. Generally, soft splints are required by anyone who has experienced injuries on their limbs.
What's A Soft Splint?
A soft splint is a device that supports and protects against a broken bone or injury. This device ensures that the injured part is secured and stabilized until immediate medical attention can be completed. Unlike rigid splints, soft fabrics such as towels, folded blankets, folded triangular bandages, or pillows are used as soft splints.
How To Use A Soft Splint
Like any other injury device, it's essential to know how to use a soft splint for optimum performance. For more information on how to use a soft splint, here's a step-by-step guide:
If an injury happens within one's wrist or ankle, the first step is to assess their circulation. Ensure the victim understands what you're doing to help them calm down. Then, hold their fingers or toes and squeeze them gently. While doing this, ask the victim to let you know if they experienced any sensation. This action ensures there's still circulation before applying a soft splint to the injured area. Also, if the doctors ask whether the splint cut off the circulation or if there was circulation before applying the spleen, you and the victim can give a correct answer.
If the injury is on the ankle, don't remove the footwear, especially if the victim is wearing high-top boots, shoes, or sneakers. This is because such footwear acts as a comprehensive bandage. Also, the soft splint acts as additional support with their footwear on. However, if the footwear isn't supportive, you can remove it.
After determining if the victim has circulation in the affected area, the next step is to get the soft splint ready. Mold the splint to fit the affected area. For instance, if the victim sustained injuries on their ankle, mold the splint to fit their ankle and leg. And if they are injured on their wrist, mold it to fit the lower arm. Afterward, slide the splint under the affected area. When done correctly, the limb should rest comfortably on the splint.
After the splint is comfortably under the affected area, wrap both the splint and the limb with bandages. Ensure to wrap it tight (though not too tight to cause discomfort) to secure the soft splint on the affected limb. The splint should act as a crutch for additional support.
After securing the soft splint with bandages, tie the bandages into a knot. Ensure the knot is pretty tight to prevent it from unraveling before the victim seeks the professional help they require.
When performing this activity, keep on talking to the victim. Keep checking if they are comfortable with every step of the procedure. When applying the splint and wrapping it with bandages, ask the victim if they can still feel the circulation. Remember, talking to the victim will help them remain calm and make it easier for you to perform the necessary first aid.
Following an injury, the victim needs to get first aid as soon as possible. While there are various first aid procedures for different injuries, some first aid devices are suitable for physical injuries such as sprained ankles or broken bones. Among such devices are soft splints.
A soft splint is essential in ensuring that the affected area is comfortable and supported and the victim is relieved of unbearable pain while waiting to get the medical help they need. Nevertheless, you should understand how to use them to avoid causing complications. Keep this guide handy at all times in case any emergency situation arises.