Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to immobilize an arm injured during a hiking trip

Use a sling to immobilize an arm. Photo courtesy of mtsofan / Photoree.
Sometimes when hiking, an injury occurs in which you must immobilize an arm. This might be due to a sprain, a cut or a fracture from a fall or an object (such a rock in a mini avalanche or a tree limb that’s just broke off) hitting it. While such accidents are rare, knowing how to handle them in case they do occur will be extremely helpful in preventing further injury and providing for the person’s comfort, especially if the injured party is a child.

To immobilize an arm, you’ll need to make a sling. This is where carrying a large bandanna or an extra shirt can be helpful. You’ll need a piece of cloth that is about a yard square; a smaller piece will do for small children.

Lay out the cloth flat then fold it in half diagonally so that you have a triangle. Next, slide the injured arm into about the middle of the diagonal cloth. Bring one end of the cloth up around the neck and the other end of the cloth up around the other side of the neck. Tie the ends of the cloth together behind the neck.

The injured arm should be in front of the abdomen, parallel to the ground. Wrap a belt around the body, just above the parallel arm. Cinch the belt tight but ensure that there’s still circulation. If you don’t have a belt, a rope or a pants leg also will work.

Seek medical help immediately.

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