Friday, March 17, 2017

What kind of splints will an EMT come across

In the previous blog post of The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) refresher we discussed what damage could happen to a patient if a splint of an injury is done wrong. The question is there several types of splints out there or do EMT's just use one specific material. In truth, we are suppose to use what we have on hand. If those objects are only blankets and towels then do your best to use those.

The different types of splints an Emergency Medical Technician will come across are:

Rigid splints
Usually made out of wood, plastic, cardboard or compressed wood fiber. Surprisingly they can be molded to fit any kind of injury.

Pressure (air or pneumatic) splints
Soft and plyable before air is inflated. The problem with these type of splints is that they can be resized. They may impair circulation of the patient. They may also impare the EMT from obtaining vitals from the patient. They may also change due to temperature around the patient and altitude changes of the patient.

Traction splints
Provide a counter pull to alleviate pain, blood loss,  and prevent further injury. There are several types of traction splints available.

Formable splints
Malleable enough for deformed or angulated extremities. Most are made of wire, thin aluminum or another metal that can bend.

Vacuum Splints
Soft pliable splints for deformed extremities.

Sling and swathe splints
Improvised splints – Bed pillow, blanket roll, or any other soft material that can be made rigid for an injury.

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