(2) Padding. Blankets, jackets, ponchos, extra clothing, shelter halves, or
leafy plants can be used to pad the splint. In some cases, you may have to use the
casualty's trouser leg or shirt sleeve as padding. Padding is necessary to keep the rigid
object from rubbing against the skin on the injured limb. It can also help to prevent the
end of the rigid object from pressing against an area on the casualty's body containing
major blood vessels.
If a SAM (splint, aluminum, malleable) universal splint is used, additional
padding is not needed since the splint is coated with a synthetic padding.
(3) Securing materials. Rigid objects can be secured with strips of clothing,
belts, pistol belts, bandoleers, cravats, or similar materials. The securing materials
keep the rigid objects and padding in place. Cravats are preferred when possible.
Narrow materials such as wire and cord should not be used to secure the rigid object in
place since they could interfere with blood circulation. The steps for making cravats
were given in Lesson 5.
SPLINTING THE FRACTURED EXTREMITY
Even if the arm or leg is not broken, the pain caused by a wound may be
lessened if the arm or leg is splinted after it has been dressed and
a. Position the Securing Material.
(1) Push the securing material (cravat, etc.) under natural body curvatures,
such as the knee. Then gently move the securing material up or down the limb until the
material is in proper position.
(2) Place securing material under the limb both above and below the
fracture site. If possible, place two cravats above the fracture site and two cravats
below the fracture site (above the upper joint, between the upper joint and the fracture,
between the fracture and the lower joint, and below the lower joint.)
Do not place securing material directly under the suspected
fracture site. The pressure caused by the securing material
when it is tightened could cause additional injury to the fracture
b. Position the Rigid Objects. Place the rigid objects over the securing
material so that one rigid object is on each side of the injured limb. When possible,
position the rigid objects so that the joint above the fracture and the joint below the
fracture can be immobilized. If the fracture is in the lower leg, for example, the splint
should extend above the knee and below the ankle. (Note: If a forearm is fractured, the
wrist is usually immobilized by the splint and the elbow is usually immobilized by a sling
and swathe.) Make sure that the ends of the rigid objects are not pressing against a
sensitive area such as the armpit or groin. Pressure on these areas can interfere with