Perhaps, you or someone near you recently sustained an injury to the arm or wrist. In such a case, you’ll need splints to stabilize and prevent any movement involving the injured part of the body.
In this article, you’ll learn tips and instructions for applying one of these devices. You’ll also get to know the materials you need and the precautions you should take before starting.
What Is A Sugar Tong Splint?
A sugar-tong splint is an orthopedic device that can immobilize or stabilize the hand, wrist, and forearm after an injury. It’s a long u-shaped splint with adjustable joints and can be used to help treat fractures and other injuries. And in some cases, when properly applied, you can use a sugar tong splint to minimize pain in the affected area.
Considering accidents can happen anytime, including a sugar tong splint in your medical kit and device at home can surely come in handy.
How To Apply A Sugar Tong Splint?
Applying a sugar tong split isn’t as difficult or complex as one would think it would be. However, you need to know how to do it properly to avoid worsening the injury.
Below are some tips that can guide you on the practical application of a sugar tong splint.
1. Wash Your Hands Before You Apply The Splint
It’s essential to wash your hands with soap and warm water before applying a sugar tong splint. This is because, in some cases, injuries have an open wound that can quickly become infected. As such, washing your hands before you apply the splint will help prevent infection from developing between the time of injury and when you can see a doctor.
To wash your hands thoroughly, wet them under warm running water and add soap. Work up a lather using a circular motion, making sure not to miss any areas. Wash for at least 20 seconds, then rinse thoroughly under clean water. Dry your hands using a clean towel, and follow up by placing a small amount of hand sanitizer on your palms to ensure they’re clean enough to work with the splint without contaminating it.
2. Get The Right Materials To Use
Another thing you need to do is have suitable materials to use. Generally, you’ll be working with a sugar tong splint, scissors or cast cutter, long stretch gauze, cast padding, and tape to hold the splint in place.
Once you have the medical tools ready, start by determining if your patient needs a short or long splint. This depends on their injury and the situation. When assessing the length of the splint, ensure that the patient’s elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle. Then leave the patient’s wrist and fingers in their natural position, with their thumb and forefinger forming a ‘C’ shape. Use scissors or a cast cutter (depending on the type of material the splint is made of) to cut it to size.
3. Add And Secure The Cast Padding
Before moving on to wrapping the injured area, it’s recommended to add a cast pad so the surface of the sugar tong splint won’t chafe or rub against the patient’s skin. However, if the splint has built-in padding, you can skip this tip.
Ideally, you’ll want to position the padding to reach from the wrist to about 1.5 inches past where the splint will end. Overlap the edge of the splint about an inch with your padding to have enough cast padding to wrap over itself and stay in place. Once you’ve got the cast padding in place, wrap it around their arm. You can use a tape every 2-3 inches along their arm to secure the padding.
You can also use an elastic bandage or another type of compression bandage (like a tubular gauze) to hold everything together and keep things in place while they heal. While your splint is already fairly snug on its own, compressing everything into one tight bundle can help prevent swelling and give them more support as they begin healing up those broken bones.
4. Put On The Splint And Wrap With Long Stretch Gauze
Place the splint over the injured area, ensuring it’s flush with the skin. Next, take a long gauze stretch and wrap it around the wrist and arm. When wrapping, ensure you’re not pulling too tight. It should be snug, but no tighter than would be comfortable to wear for a day.
Switch directions and repeat until the hand is covered, including the fingers. The goal is to create a cast-like effect that’ll hold in place. That way, there’ll be no further damage from bending a broken bone at an improper angle.
The trick is to secure the gauze wrap with an ace bandage or duct tape or to tie off the ends of the gauze with a knot. This can help keep everything in its proper place and add an extra layer of stability to protect against a movement that could cause further injury or even pain during recovery time.
A sugar tong splint is one of the essential medical tools you need to keep at home. During an unfortunate accident, it can help treat and stabilize fractures and other injuries, especially around the arm. But before you use and apply one, proper knowledge is a must. You can consider the tips mentioned above as a guide.
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