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Making a Splint

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A splint is used to stabilize an injury and prevent further damage that may result from moving around. They are often associated with broken bones, but can apply to other injuries, such as strained and sprained muscles. A splint can be fashioned from common household materials and knowing how to make one can prevent a more serious injury and significantly reduce pain while transporting someone to the hospital or waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.


A rigid object, such as a board, heavy stick, wad of thick papers, rolled up cloth, or any other such object.

If using a rough or splintery material, lining it with a cloth can prevent further discomfort.

A fastening material, such as a belt, shoelace, medical tape, or strong piece of cloth is needed to hold the splint in place.

Note: Be careful using strong adhesives around the injured individual’s skin. This could result in more damage.

Steps for using a splint

Stop any bleeding by using a gauze or other adhesive. Do not try and move the damaged body part. Misaligning the injured part can result in a worse injury.

Place the splint on the joints above and below the injury. For example, if the injury is to the calf, you would place the splint above the ankle and below the knee.

Tighten the splint enough to stabilize the injury, but do not make it so tight that you cut off circulation. This could only worsen the injury.

Observe the individual to make sure they are not going into shock or losing circulation. If they are losing circulation, loosen the splint. If they are going into shock, follow the protocol in the previous lesson.

Call emergency medical services or safely transport the injured individual to the hospital.

If the hand is injured, have the person close their fingers around an object that they can grip easily, such as a pair of socks.

After they close their hand, put dry padding between the fingers and wrap the hand in gauze from fingertips to wrist.

Leaving the fingertips uncovered to keep track of circulation, use an adhesive to secure the splint.

(Sources: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-a-splint#hand-splints; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000040.htm)