Thread: Splints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    SF Bay Area

    Default Splints

    I picked up a new first aid kit (mostly because it was on sale, not because I needed another one). REI's Backbacker kit included a wire mesh splint. I had never seen one of these. The only FA splint I am familiar with is the SAM splint. The wire mesh one is compact and light, but I wondered how stiff it would really be.

    This got me using El Goog to look at portable splints and I found air splints. I never thought about those as a FA item. Without any training in them, my first thought was, "How do you keep from making it too tight?"

    Does anyone have any opinions on these splint options for the FA kit?
    You can't jump the track,we're like cars on a cable
    and life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
    No one can find the rewind button

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Pasadena, CA

    Default I use some...

    plain label SAM splints in my work kit. Get em from BP Medical out of NYC.

    They roll up small, can be cut easily into just about shape you'll ever need, won't deflate like an air splint and they're much cheaper.

    I'd buy some original SAM's but frankly, they're just too damned expensive for what they are, thin sheet of aluminum covered with some foam in an item that's going to be thrown away after use.

    Sorry SAM...
    John E.

    Yes...It could happen any time
    tornado, earthquake,
    It could happen
    or sunshine, love, salvation
    It could you know, that's why we wake
    and look out
    No guarantees in this life but some bonuses
    like morning, like noon, like evening...

    like right now

    William Stafford 1914-1993

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    The Quiet Corner of Connecticut
    Sounds like you have some sort of ladder splint, the earlier version of the SAM splint, they work good, you just need to pad it before using it. Use them the same way as a SAM splint, crease them to make it stiff.

    As for the air splint, they're not used that much any more because they cut off circulation and thats bad m'kay. DO NOT USE Air splints!!!!!!!! On my ambulance we use Vac-u-splints, they look like air splints but, they are a totally different animal. With them they have foam beads in it and you pump the air out, that makes the beads get bigger making a "cast". As for me I've been a working EMT since 1990 and the splint thats my goto is the SAM splint.
    Last edited by Captain K-man; 05-30-2011 at 09:21 PM. Reason: more info

    " Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -WALT WHITMAN

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Fallon, NV
    I also like the SAM style splints. Unless it's a broken ankle , then nothing beats a pillow wrapped around it...seriously. I refuse to use the vacu-splints because they have a tendency to lose the vacuum.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Ditto on the SAM splints; you can sometimes find them in 2 or 3 packs. I dont know what you usually pay for yours but I source mine at around $8 a peice, which I find very reasonable for what it is. I have 3 SAM's, one SAM Soft splint, and a half dozen SAM finger splints. Also, if your using it on a closed fracture, I see no reason why you cannot sanitize a SAM splint for personal use. I suppose the foam would hold bacteria fairly well, but I use SpectraSan to disinfect them anyways. Open fracture or body fluid contaimination is a no-go though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Inland Empire, Ca

    Default Splints And Such

    SAM splints are wonderful multi-use tools. Members of the Wilderness Medical Society can get them for $5 each and they are wider than the standard one.

    Leaks in vacuum splints are easily patched through the magic of duct tape.

    For a femur fracture, nothing beats a traction splint. The Kendrick Traction Device (KTD, but marketed under a different name now) is small and light, but doesn't hold traction all that well for a long transport. The Hare is great, but sticks out the bottom of a Stokes litter. The Sager is is quite nice, fits easily in a litter, and comes in a bilateral model. Both Sagers and Hare are quite expensive.

    Every member of my mountain SAR team carries a SAM. The team has a Sager for each vehicle.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    E. Sierras
    SAM Splints make great funnels and fluid channels as well.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Duluth, MN
    For forearm or wrist on most anyone, or tib/fib on a child, you'd be surprised how well a magazine and a rectangular bandage works. The best mags have a glued binding vs. stapled. i.e. Cosmo works better than US Weekly.

  9. #9
    I second the SAM splint + duct tape. Multiple uses. Very light. Compact. Radiolucent. Cheap (some have argued they are expensive for foam over aluminum, but they are dirt cheap for a medical device). Plus the company is friendly. Even Sam and his wife are incredibly nice.

    I carry two 4"x36", EMT shears, and duct tape. You can cut them to size if they were originally too large (i.e. make a finger splint). Tape over the exposed (and potentially sharp) aluminum.

    The vacuum splints are very secure. But I do not trust them to stay in my pack unused for months with 100% certainty they will not leak at the moment I need it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    I also go with SAM splints. The USAF (US Air Force) doesn't have medics like army does, so all arimen are trained in basic first aid and one of the tools we use is the SAM splint. They are fairly cheap for medical devices and with as little use as you'll have for them and how much you'll need it when you do need it, well worth the cost. They are a one use item, but well worth the price still to replace.

    I got mine from a local military surplus store.
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    To Do List: 33" tires

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