How to Splint a Broken Arm

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 48,256
    Paramedic Chip Myers demonstrates basic first aid skills, including how to splint a broken arm.

    Chip Meyers: Hi! I am Chip Meyers; I am paramedic with the City of Alexandria Fire Department in Alexandria, Virginia. Next, we are going to talk about how to treat common extremity fractures.

    We'll start off with a fracture to the arm. Here is some of the equipment that we can use -- board splints; if you don't have a board splints you could also use a newspaper, a magazine or a small book and you just wrap those around the arm and they would provide enough stabilization. Here our patient, Josh, says oh! His arm feels like it's broken. He felt a snap or a pop. Looking at the arm, you see that there is some swelling, there is a lot pain. Patient may also have a -- feels like there is a extra joint there, or they feel like there is something grinding in there. So what we are doing is stabilizing the arm and you can have the patient assist you if need be with the board and then we are going to tie the wrist and the elbow area to the board. Then you want to tie it firm, but not so firm that you would shut off the circulation. If you tie it too tight the patient may complain of a numbness or tingling in their fingers and you'll notice that their finger starts to change color. If this happens, you are going to want to loosen up the board. Notice that the arm is now mobilized and this should minimize the pain the patient is suffering. Next, we are going to apply a slinging swab to that. A swab is sort of a triangular bandage that keeps the arm upright. If you don't have triangular bandage, you can use other things around the house. You could use a handkerchief, a scarf, a bandana, what we do is first tie a knot into the corner and that makes a little cup for the elbow. Then we bring one end up against the chest, bring it one of those triangular ends to one side of the neck, bring the other triangular end to the other side of the neck and we are going to tie that behind the patient's neck. If you have something handy, some more cloth or padding, you can stick that behind the neck so that the knot isn't pressing too hard on the neck. We would then tie that sling off using another triangular bandage or roller gauge, anything have, just to keep from flopping around and that's how you would stabilize the fracture of the upper extremity.

    Next, we will talk about how to stabilize the fracture of the lower leg and the ankle.