Attend to any bleeding before you attempt to place the splint. You can stop the bleeding by putting pressure directly on the wound. Then, apply a bandage, a square of gauze, or a piece of cloth. Do not try to move the body part that needs to be splinted — you may accidentally cause more damage.
Place the splint so that it rests on the joint above the injury and the joint below it. For example, if you are splinting a forearm, place the rigid support item under the forearm. Then, tie or tape it to the arm just below the wrist and above the elbow.
Avoid placing ties directly over the injured area. You should fasten the splint tightly enough to hold the body part still, but not so tightly that the ties will cut off the person’s circulation.
Once the splint is applied, you should check the areas around it every few minutes for signs of decreased blood circulation. If the extremities begin to appear pale, swollen, or tinged with blue, loosen the ties that are holding the splint.
If the injured person complains that the splint is causing pain, try loosening the ties a little. Then, check that no ties were placed directly over an injury. If these measures do not help and the person is still feeling pain from the splint, you should remove it.
You should splint the broken arm or leg in its normal position. “If a limb is markedly deformed and you think that circulation to the extremity is impaired, then I would consider realigning, or straightening, the limb,” Weiss says. That involves gently pulling on it below the fracture while another person holds the limb steady at a point above the injury. However, Weiss advises, stop if the injured person feels a dramatic increase in pain.
The injured person may be suffering from shock if they are feeling faint or taking only short, rapid breaths. In this case, try to lay the person down without affecting the injured body part. If possible, you should elevate their legs and position their head slightly below heart level.
After you have applied the splint and the injured body part is no longer able to move, call 911 or take your loved one to the nearest urgent care clinic or emergency room for a checkup and further treatment.