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Commercial splints are available to use to immobilise a fractured limb.

The one shown is called a SAM splint. These splints are made of aluminium which is covered in foam.

To make sure you don’t cause further injury or pain, you should open the splint and mould it so that the injured limb fits in without the need to push or put pressure on the injured limb. Use tape to hold the splint in position, this will stop the arm and wrist (in this instance) from moving.

Pneumatic splints work differently, you open the zip, wrap it around the limb and zip it up. When they are placed over the injured limb they are deflated, when in position you inflate it by blowing into the valve, this will immobilise the injured limb and provide cushioning to help to keep the patient comfortable. One advantage is that you can adjust the pressure by adding more air or if after you have done the capillary refill test, you find that it is on too tight, you can simply let some air out.

Most first aid kits do not include splints. If you find yourself dealing with a break that needs to be immobilised, a magazine or newspaper can be used as an effective alternative to a commercial splint, using micropore tape to keep the splint in place. If the splint is too tight, you would simply cut the tape and reapply.

When you are dealing with a patient who has an injury to their lower arm, you should use a triangular bandage to support their arm and keep it still, so that they can make their way to seek emergency medical assistance.