IMMOBILIZE A FRACTURED HUMERUS WITH AN IMPROVISED SPLINT
Wire ladder splints, SAM splints, and pneumatic splints are used to immobilize a
fracture of the upper extremity. If these splints are not available, a splint can be made
from improvised rigid objects and securing materials. Basswood boards, tree limbs,
broken poles, boards, or rolled newspaper can be used as rigid objects. If a rigid object
cannot be readily found, the casualty's chest can be used as the rigid object. Cravats,
slings, and swathes are normally made from triangular bandages (paragraph 2-4c). If
muslin bandages or other materials are not available to make triangular bandages,
strips of torn cloth, belts, or similar objects can be used. Wire, shoestrings, and other
very narrow materials should not be used. General procedures for applying an
improvised splint to a fractured humerus are given in the following paragraphs.
a. Gather two rigid objects, securing materials, and padding.
b. Pad the rigid objects.
c. Check the casualty's pulse below the fracture site. If no pulse is found,
evacuate the casualty as soon as possible after the splint is applied.
d. Place the rigid objects on each side of the upper arm. Make sure the inside
rigid object is not pressing on the axilla (armpit).
e. Secure the rigid objects with cravats or other securing material.
(1) Apply at least one cravat above the fracture site and at least one cravat
below the fracture site. If possible, apply two cravats above the fracture site and two
cravats below the fracture site. Do not apply a cravat over the fracture site.
(2) Tie the tails of the cravats in a non-slip knot on the outer rigid object and
tuck in the tails.
(3) Check the casualty's pulse after each cravat is applied. If the pulse can
no longer be detected, loosen the cravat and apply it again. If this does not restore
circulation, evacuate the casualty as soon as possible.
f. Apply a sling and a swathe to further immobilize the casualty's arm. If
possible, apply two swathes--one above the fracture site and one below the fracture
IMMOBILIZE A FRACTURED ELBOW WITH AN IMPROVISED SPLINT
Immobilize the upper arm and forearm in the position you find them. If the elbow
is bent, leave it bent. If the elbow is not bent (arm straight), do not try to bend it in order
to apply a sling to the arm.