If you are the type of person that carries around a medical first aid kit when they go on adventures, then a SAM splint would make a great addition to your kit.
They are really handy to have available to you just in case of an emergency, and if you like to go on hiking, camping, or other similar trips, then we recommend adding this product to your first aid kit.
You can use this product if you or someone in your party were to become injured, and it is simple and relatively easy to use when you know what you are doing.
In this article, we are going to explain everything that you need to know about SAM splints, and how you can use one. The best part about these types of splints is that they are often multi-functional.
This means that they can be used for a variety of injuries in different parts of the body. There are different ways that they can be used for different injuries, and we will tell you how to use one efficiently.
What is a SAM Splint?
SAM splints are a highly versatile piece of equipment that can be used as a part of your first aid kit. They are simple to use with the correct knowledge of application, and they are a must-have item for any outdoor explorers.
A SAM splint is made up of a soft and malleable aluminum strip that is surrounded by foam, and once they have been moulded into a 3D shape, they become quite rigid to allow for stability. The more complex of a shape that you create using the splint, the more rigid that it will become.
This is not a substitute for any hospital-grade methods of splinting, but it is more than capable of stabilizing an injury until you can get the injured person to a medical professional. They are small, lightweight, and easy to use, and one of the best parts about them is that they can actually be reused.
This makes them a highly cost-effective product, as you can use it more than once. They aren’t expensive to purchase, but they can help to really make a difference in a tricky situation.
SAM splints are also entirely unaffected by water, dirt and heat, and they don’t have any moving parts to them. You can cut them to size when needed, and they are radiolucent. For a product that is as useful and helpful as this, you can’t go wrong.
However, as with all other types of equipment that you might use in a medical emergency, the key is knowing how to use them effectively.
How to Use a Sam Splint
The method in which you use a SAM splint is relatively simple, though it may vary slightly depending on the injury that you are tending to and the location of such an injury.
As we have previously mentioned, SAM splints are extremely versatile and they can be used on a variety of different parts of the body. We are going to explain exactly how you might need to use one if you ever need to.
The first thing that you should note is that you are going to need another material in combination with the SAM splint so that you can secure the splint in place.
Ideally, you should use bandages to do this, but you can use other things, like plastic wrap. The idea is that it will be wrapped around the injury and the splint to keep it stable and secure.
For injuries that are straight, like a leg or wrist injury, the first thing that you will need to do is shape the mould to the shape of the injured area. For example, if you are tending to a wrist injury, you can mould it around someone elses arm to get the right shape, or your own if you have to, though this might be more difficult.
Once you have the SAM splint moulded into the necessary shape, you can secure it to the injury. Next, you can take your bandage and start to warp it around the injured area. Start at one end, and work your way to the other.
For more complex injuries, the process is the same, but you might have to use more than one splint in combination with the first to create an angle if you do not have enough available to you.
You can also use SAM splints to create a neck brace in situations where one is required. We will leave some of our helpful application tips below.
Some Helpful Tips
When you are moulding the shape of the splint, don’t use the location of the injury to do so. However, if it is something like an arm injury, then you could use their other arm to get the right shape.
You can add extra padding to the splint if you feel you need to. This will help to make it more comfortable to use long term.
If you have run out of bandages, or you find yourself with nothing available to you to hold the splint in place, then you can get creative and find other ways of doing so. You could tear up a shirt and use the leftover strips to hold it in place, or you can even use other materials or plastic wrap.
Sometimes, in an emergency situation, we have to make do with the resources that we have available to us. Just be carefull that you are not wrapping the material too tightly.
After you have applied the splint, you will need to monitor the injured person to make sure that there are no changes in color, sensation, or movement.
Any negative changes might be a sign that there is a problem, especially if the injured place is changing in color. You might have to remove the splint if there is a loss of function or an abnormal coloration.
Always take your time when you are creating a splint. It is better to take your time to make sure that you are doing everything correctly than to rush things and do something wrong. You can also practice first on an uninjured person if you feel that it would be beneficial.