Do not apply a swathe on top of the fracture site. The pressure of the
swathe could cause additional damage to the nerves and blood vessels
around the broken bone.
(1) Place one end of the swathe on the sling at the breast pocket near the
uninjured arm. Hold this end at this location.
(2) Wrap the other end of the swathe across the sling, around the upper arm
on the injured side, behind the casualty's back, under the uninjured arm, and back to the
(a) You have now encircled the casualty's chest and injured arm. The
uninjured arm, however, remains free to move.
(b) Since the fracture is in the forearm and not the upper arm, make
the swathe wide (about 12 inches) when it goes across the injured arm. If the casualty
had a fractured humerus, you would not make the swathe as wide since the swathe
should not be applied on top of a fracture site.
(3) Tie the two ends of the swathe in a non-slip knot over the breast pocket
on the uninjured side.
(4) Check the casualty's pulse below the swathe. If the casualty had a
pulse before the swathe was applied but the pulse is no longer present, loosen and retie
the swathe. If a pulse is still not present, evacuate the casualty as soon as possible.
5-10. IMMOBILIZE A FOREARM USING A PNEUMATIC SPLINT
A pneumatic (air) is normally used to immobilize a fracture of the forearm or
lower leg. A pneumatic splint can be applied quickly and easily. Since they are
transparent, the injury can be observed through the splint. Pneumatic splints, however,
also have disadvantages. A pneumatic splint cannot be used with an open fracture
since the pressure from the splint would force the bone back into the arm. The splint
can also be rendered useless if it is torn or punctured. The pressure may need to be
adjusted periodically, especially if the casualty is evacuated by air. The procedures
below give the general steps for applying a pneumatic splint to a fractured forearm with
the casualty lying on the ground.
a. Inspect Splint. Check the splint for cuts, tears, and punctures. Check the air
valve and the zipper to make sure they function properly.
b. Check Pulse. Check the casualty's pulse distal to the suspected fracture. If
no pulse is found, evacuate the casualty as soon as possible after the injury is splinted.