In times of an emergency or disaster, all you have is yourself and your family members, if any. There is a big possibility that you won’t be able to call 911 or an ambulance if you injure yourself. Do you know how to apply a sling to a fractured arm? Knowing this is very important since it commonly happens during disasters and calamities. In scenarios like when the world is in chaos, it is good to know the treatment of basic injuries.
Your arms are very important since you use them all the time. They are the ones who handle every single task that you have to accomplish. What happens when you fracture or injure them? This is why you need to know how to apply a sling to your arm in times like these.
Types of Arm Slings
Before you can apply a sling properly to your broken arm, you need to know the basic types of arm slings. These slings are primarily used to expedite the recovery of the wrist, arm, or shoulder injuries. They keep your arms immobilized in a raised position to prevent your wrist, arm, or shoulders from moving. Moreover, this limited movement can help alleviate the pressure on your arms, including the bones and tendons around it. It gives the affected area the time and chance to heal by restricting movement.
There are several types of arm slings available in the market. Different types of arm slings are also designed for various purposes. Do not jump in and purchase the first arm sling you can find. There are three types of arm slings: the Standard Arm Sling, Collar and Cuff Sling, and the Elevated Shoulder Sling.
Standard Arm Sling
This type of sling is designed to treat fractures, strains, sprains, and broken bones, particularly on your forearms. A Standard Arm Sling immobilizes your arms and hands, but as an additional feature, it also comes with a simple belt. The belt is wrapped around your arm over to the opposing shoulder. In general, this sling is supported by a bandage that you can put over your arm. The rest of the sling fabric rests under the arm. The sling and bandage are there to keep the arm raised at all times.
Elevated Sling (Shoulder Immobilizer Sling)
A Shoulder Immobilizer Sling, like the name suggests, aims to immobilize the shoulder. They are often used for more severe arm fractures and repetitive injuries to the shoulder plus other strain injuries. The material is wrapped around the elbow on the injured area. After that, the other side is placed on the opposing shoulder that is not injured. These kinds of slings may differ when it comes to the degree of immobilization, depending on the injury. Nevertheless, it mainly provides immobility or mobility to your arm.
Collar and Cuff Sling
The Collar and Cuff Slings aim to give more mobility to the user. It is also suitable to use even without a bandage when treating less serious arm injuries and collarbone injuries. The product primarily comprises only of cloth and a belt. You can use this by placing the fabric under your arm, which you need to wrap around your neck. The opposing arm needs to hang comfortably to make sure that you applied this correctly. The injured arm should be given enough elevation for it to recover.
How to Apply a Sling to an Arm
When you are alone, and you arrive at a scene where someone is in dire need of help, you have no choice but to assist. You can also apply this circumstance when you are alone, and you need to place an arm sling on your own. There is a right way to do it. You must follow the right steps since doing these in the wrong way can lead to further damage to the patient’s bones or nerves.
Starting from scratch, if you failed to buy a ready-made one, you could take a triangular bandage then open it. Make sure that this spreads across the person’s body vertically. The whole thing should be folded in half once with the triangle pointed towards the elbow. The process should be repeated on that same side of the body. After that, here are the things you need to do to apply the sling properly to the patient.
- Position the injured arm of the person as carefully and gently as you can. The injured arm should be kept to the front of the body with the elbow bend. The former should also be a little higher than the horizontal axis of the patient’s body. Move the arms as slowly as possible. Remember that even the smallest movements can cause this person a great deal of pain. Move slowly and gently.
- Tie the bandage’s top end. You can do this by taking that end and looping it behind the person’s neck. After this, you need to tie the ends gently on the side of the person’s neck opposite the sling. You should check whether the arm is in a comfortable position. Ask the person whether there is lingering pain or not when you put his arm in that position.
- The final step is to take the point of the bandage near the elbow. You have to tape or pin it securely, then tuck it in the sling to prevent the arm from falling out at the back of the sling.
As mentioned above, it is good to know the essential treatment of the human body in case a body part gets injured. In times of disasters, you cannot quickly call a doctor or nurse to do basic first aid on you. There are some things that you have to do on our own. This may include fundamental things like how to apply a sling to your arm. This will come in handy in other situations when you or the people around you get injured. Knowing some first aid tips will go a long way, especially if you are in the actual situation itself. Get more tips on first aid.