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First Aid

Arm Slings – How to Apply Them

Slings are generally used to support an injured arm of someone that is sitting or able to walk. Slings can also be used as a treatment for broken ribs. Arm slings are usually made with a triangular bandage and most first aid kits should have one, and always be replaced once used. There are several different types of slings used. The first is the arm sling – This is used to provide support to the lower half of the arm in either of the two following positions, horizontal or having the arm slightly raised from this. The second is the elevation sling – which provides support to the upper half of the arm by having the hand in a well raised position. This can be used to help with fractures, to help reduce swelling, to help control bleeding, and for complicated rib fractures.

How to apply an arm sling

o Support the injured forearm
o Place the triangular bandage between the body and the arm
o Pass one end of the bandage through at the injured elbow, and pull to the opposite shoulder
o Spread the bandage out so that the bottom of the bandage is in line with her little finger
o Bring the lower end of the bandage up and over her arm towards the shoulder so that the ends meet
o Tie the two ends together and tuck both of the ends under the knot to help pad it and provide comfort
o Fold the point forward at her elbow and secure it with a safety pin or twist the end until the elbow is securely in place then tuck it into the sling
o Continue to make checks to the arm to make sure it is not to tight but providing enough support

How to apply an elevated sling

o Support the injured arm
o Have the casualty bring his arm up toward his opposite shoulder in the diagonal position
o Place one end of the triangular bandage over the shoulder of the uninjured arm, making sure that the point of the bandage is on the injured side of the arm
o Fold the base of the bandage under the injured arm and behind his elbow
o Bring the two ends of the bandage together and tie at the uninjured shoulder folding the ends under the knot to provide a pad making it more comfortable
o Twist the excess material at the elbow to provide a snug fit and tuck this into the sling
o Continue to make checks to the arm to make sure it is not to tight but providing enough support

In the case of an emergency where no first aid kit or triangular bandage is available items such as a tie, belt, thick twine or rope, or any material can be used to support the arm. If none of these are available an item of clothing can be used.

Source by Gemma Davison

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