splint(redirected from Balkan splint)
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a device for immobilizing injured parts of the body. A splint is applied to a fracture, sprain, or areas with extensive injury to soft tissues; it is also applied in cases of inflammatory diseases of the limbs, in cases of burns, and after surgery on bones, blood vessels, and nerves in the extremities. A distinction is made between transport and therapeutic splints.
Transport splints are applied as a first-aid remedy before the victim is transported to a medical facility. The purpose is to immobilize the injured part and prevent the development of traumatic shock or increased bleeding when bone fragments are moved. Standard transport splints are made of wood, of wire (several types measuring 75 to 100 cm in length and 6 to 10 cm in width are available), which easily conforms to the contour of the limb regardless of the site of the injury, or of plastic. There are also pneumatic and vacuum types. If standard splints are not available, immobilization during transport can be achieved by improvising splints from available materials, such as a board, a ski, a piece of plywood, or a stick. In applying a transport splint it is important that the two segments adjoining the injured one also be immobilized. For example, in the case of a shin fracture, the splint is secured to the foot, crus, and thigh by bandages; in the case of a shoulder fracture, it is applied to the forearm, shoulder, and chest. The splint should be padded with soft material to prevent ulcération.
Therapeutic splints are used for extended immobilization, for the length of time required for a fracture to heal. For example, metal splints are used in skeletal traction. In stomatology, splints made of wire or quick-hardening plastic, special appliances, or arches are used to immobilize the parts in fractures of the upper or lower jaw and after ostéoplastie surgery of the jaw.
V. F. POZHARISKII