When it comes to survival, almost anything goes. That also applies to the question of what you should do if someone has a broken bone and needs immediate care. If you don’t have access to traditional splints, then there are other ways that you can use everyday items to create something that will work just as well. This article will look at different ways you can make a splint in the case of an emergency.
Sticks And Branches
If you’re in a forest with trees, then the easiest thing to do is find some branches and sticks. Depending on how clean the break is, you can usually use them instead of traditional splints. It’s best to cross or rest against one another at junctures where the fracture is situated to ensure they stay in place. Always make sure that the injured person’s head is higher than the injury site.
Clothing And Textiles
If there are no trees around or you don’t have anything that can act as a splint, then it’s time to get creative. If you happen to be wearing long sleeves or long pants, you can usually tear a strip off and tie it tightly above the break. The same thing applies to scarves or bandanas; if one is available, you can use it as well. Make sure that the knot is in place before you try to remove any clothing because if they do move around a lot when in pain, there’s no guarantee that the knot will stay in place.
Straps And Rope
If you are somewhere with access to rope or straps, you can also use these. The trick here is to make sure that you don’t cause any further damage by using them, so it’s best to use softer materials if possible. First, take the strap and wrap it around the fracture. Then tie it off above the fracture. Repeat this with another strap if possible. This will ensure that the area stays immobile, which is essential for proper recovery.
A Rolled Up Newspaper
Another simple method is to use a newspaper. To do this, lie the newspaper flat on the ground and place it perpendicular to the fracture. Then, roll it up tightly until you come about halfway up the affected area. At that point, slip something underneath the newspaper to keep it in place. If you have nothing available, simply roll it up tightly and tie it at either end with a knot. Once this is done, tie a knot above the fracture site if you have something available.
Paracord Or String
Using paracord or string is another easy way to immobilize someone’s arm or leg. Paracord is best because it has more “give” than string, but either one can work as long as there are no sharp edges nearby. When using these materials to immobilize a limb, make sure that they go above and below the break to avoid slipping and moving around. Start by tying it above the fracture site, then below before making a knot to hold. Tightening the ends of the cord will help secure everything in place without causing any additional damage.
If your only option is to use a piece of cardboard, then that will work as well. To do this, create a small fold in the center of the cardboard and slip it inside the shirt sleeve or pants leg covering your patient’s broken limb. Then simply roll it up until reaching a point beneath the break and tie everything in place with string or cord. Make sure there are no sharp edges because they may move around enough to cause damage from the said edge when in pain. Also, be sure to keep their limb elevated to reduce swelling and pain. Which is good advice no matter which way you make the splint.
Pillow Or Towel
If you happen to have a pillow or towel available, you can also use these items to make a splint. Simply fold the item and place it under the break to rest against the fracture and immobilize everything in place. Next, use string to wrap around the limb and tie it tightly for no movement for added protection. This method is suitable because there are no sharp edges, and whatever you use as support can be easily replaced if needed.
Sleeping Bag Or Blanket
You can use a sleeping bag or blanket in place of the other items mentioned above. To use this method, simply roll up the item and wrap one end around the limb covering the fracture site. Tighten that end when in place, then roll it up tightly to reach beneath where the fracture is. Once there, tie everything together so it stays in place. This method is not the best listed here but can work depending on the situation.
A make-shift splint should only be used if nothing else is available, but it can save someone’s life in desperate times. The above methods should all work as long as the materials are not bulky and do not have any sharp edges, which could cause more damage to the area. Whoever is injured should seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure that there are no further damages.