How to Splint a Broken Leg or Ankle
Paramedic Chip Myers demonstrates basic first aid skills, including how to splint a broken leg or ankle.
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Chip Meyers: Hi, I am Chip Meyers, a paramedic with the City of Alexandria Fire Department in Alexandria, Virginia. Next, we are going to talk about how to treat somebody with an extremity fracture of the lower leg. Over here, we have Josh who is lying on the floor complaining of pain in his leg. He has got a swollen area in his leg, he felt a popping sensation or a snapping sensation. We know that it is very painful to the touch and there maybe even some false motion or it feels like some grinding sensation when we check the area. First thing we did is we measured out two boards of splints and laid them one on the inside of the leg and one on the outside. These board splints you can use anything you have around the house that is long enough to fit the leg, a broomstick, anything. Ideally, try to pad it with some towels or something but if you do not have anything to pad it with put it in with the splint and it is better than anything. If you have nothing at all that you can splint the leg with you can use the good leg and tie both legs together. When splinting, you want to put two triangular bandages or two cravats or if you use tape anything that you use which you want to put two on the upper leg and two on the lower leg to tie the whole splint in place. The idea is we are trying to minimize any motion in that leg, in that fractured area and that will help reduce the pain for this person plus it will help reduce some of the swelling and damage to the soft tissue as well as the blood vessels and nerves in that area. When tying the cravats or the triangular bandage we want to make sure not to get so tight that you actually cut off the circulation to the foot. So, if the patient starts saying that they have got a tingling sensation in their foot or that the foot starts to turn purple, you might need to loosen up some of the cravats. Next, we are going to talk about how to treat somebody who has got an ankle injury. Josh here has an injury to the ankle on the other foot and we are going to wrap that in either a blanket or a pillow to try and stabilize it. you want to use something bulky, something soft. If you are at the ski slope and somebody else has this problem, you can use a down jacket. So, you just position the ankle, the heel over the foot on the centre of the blanket or the pillow and you wrap it up around the foot and you just tie it in place or tape it in place, whatever you have handy. So, that is how you stabilize fracture of the low extremity. Next, we are going to talk about how to treat somebody who is having a seizure.