How To Apply an Arm Sling

In responding to first aid needs, a common injury that you can encounter would be injuries to the arms. Arm injuries like broken bones or fractures require the use of an arm sling. To facilitate the healing process, an injured arm should be positioned in such a way as not to give stress and pressure to the fractured part. Applying an arm sling does not have to be done by a medical doctor or a health care professional. A non-medical person can apply an arm sling even at home. Below are steps on how to properly apply an arm sling to an injured arm.

  1. Attend to the needs of your injured arm. Before putting the injured arm in an arm sling, determine first the care that your injured arm needs. Be sure that proper medical attention has been given to your fractured arm before putting it to rest. Lacerations and bleeding should be dealt with first. For lacerations you need to have it stitched first before applying the arm sling. Remember that arm slings are used to facilitate the recovery of arm injuries, so all medications should first be given before proceeding.
  2. Look for an arm sling in your first aid kit. First aid kits usually contain an arm sling that can come in two sizes: one that is used for adults and one that is used for children. If you cannot find any, you can always improvise by using a belt or any cloth so long as it would not stretch. 
  3. Observe the proper position of the arm sling. Once you have found the appropriate arm sling, determine its proper positioning by holding on to the long side. This is the side that will house your injured arm. Now sling it to your neck, over the shoulder opposite the injured arm. Make sure that the couch itself will lay flat in the torso. This couch should be level with the elbow so the injured person will be comfortable once it is in rest. This will secure a perfect position for the arm once it is inside the arm sling.
  4. Place the injured arm in the arm sling. Now it is time to lay that injured arm to rest. Raise the injured arm and carefully insert it inside the arm sling. You can do this by putting the injured arm into a 90-degree position and slowly insert it to the arm sling, elbow first. Lifting the entire arm away from your torso will help facilitate a smooth entry. 
  5. Fasten the sling over the person’s neck. Secure the arm sling by tying it around the neck, over the opposite shoulder of the injured arm. Once the injured arm is safe and comfortable in its position, it is time to lock the sling up. Tie it around the neck, over the opposite shoulder of the injured arm. If you are the person injured, this part can prove to be difficult if you are doing it alone. For this you should ask for assistance from somebody who can tie the arm sling around your neck.

Applying an arm sling is not difficult. It does not have to done by a medical doctor or a health care professional. You can even do it by yourself. Sometimes doing first aid is just a matter of self-help.


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