Wrapping an Arm Splint
- 1). Place the patient in a comfortable position; they can be either seated or reclined. Remove any jewelery from the injured area, as swelling may make it difficult to remove later on. Cover the injured arm with a stockinette. The stockinette should extend from the bicep all the way to the fingertips. Cut a hole for the thumb and allow for extra length of the stockinette in both directions. Cut the stockinette with scissors when you have covered the entire arm.
- 2). Wrap the stockinette in an underpadding such as Webril. Make sure that the hand is flat with the fingers together and begin midway up the fingers, going around the thumb and working your way up the arm. Overlap each layer by half the width of the previous layer. As with the stockinette, allow for extra length.
- 3). Apply dry plaster to the padding. Apply the plaster in the same manner as you applied the underpadding, around the thumb and up the arm. Wrap a length around the elbow and then move back toward the hand. Leave a small length on either end of the plaster, as it will shrink. Continue wrapping up and down the arm until it is eight to 10 layers thick. Cut the plaster when finished and tuck in. Measure, but do not wrap, the length of the arm from the palm to the elbow with a new layer of plaster. Multiply that length twice and cut a new piece. This will serve as the wet plaster you will use in the next step.
- 4). Submerge the measured plaster in water at room temperature. Squeeze out the water. Position the patient's arm with the palm facing toward the body and the elbow flexed. Apply the wet plaster to the palm, running down the arm laterally, around the elbow and back up to the outside of the hand. Get the patient to hold the two ends of the wet plaster, pulling tight as you apply the bandage.
- 5). Apply the bandage wrap over the wet plaster again in the same manner as the dry plaster. Do not wrap too tightly. Mold the splint into shape while the plaster is still wet. The elbow should be flexed to 90 degrees with the wrist and hand in a neutral position. Move the wrist to a 20-degree bend and flex the finger joints to roughly 70 degrees. Ensure that the patient's arm remains still until the plaster has hardened.