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How To Make An Arm Sling

How To Make An Arm Sling

This simple arm sling helps to support and immobilise your forearm, upper arm and wrist when injured. Arm slings can also help support your arm if you have fractured ribs. Here's how to make one!

Step 1: You will need

  • A large triangular bandage
  • A safety pin

Step 2: Stand in front of the person

Stand in front of the person on their injured side.

Step 3: Support the arm

Ask the injured person to support their arm, keeping it parallel to the ground with the wrist and hand slightly raised.

Step 4: Place bandage between body and arm

Now slide the bandage between the body and the arm so that the long straight edge lies down the uninjured side of the body and the point to the injured side reaching well beyond the elbow. Keep the top end of the bandage over the shoulder of the uninjured side and pull around the back of the neck to the opposite shoulder.

Step 5: Bring up lower end of bandage

Still supporting the forearm bring the lower end of the bandage up over the forearm and hand to meet the other end at the shoulder

Step 6: Tie a reef knot

Tie the ends together using a reef knot on the injured side. The knot should sit in the hollow just above the collar bone. You can tuck the free ends of the bandage under the knot to pad it. Watch VideoJug film ‘How To Tie And Untie A Reef Knot’.

Step 7: Release the arm

The injured person can release the arm once the ends have been secured.

Step 8: Tuck loose ends and secure

Now fold the pointed end of the bandage forward and around the elbow. Tuck in any excess fabric and secure with a safety pin on the front of the sling. Make sure the pin point is facing downwards in case it comes undone. The sling must reach the little finger to give sufficient support.

Step 9: Correctly support the limb

Make sure that the hand and wrist are supported in a position that is slightly higher than the elbow. You should be able to see all the fingernails, with the little one just visible.

Step 10: Check circulation

Once you have finished, check the circulation of the injured limb by pressing on one of the nails or skin of the hand until it becomes pale. Then release, and if the colour does not come back within 2 to 3 seconds, then circulation is likely to be impaired.
Take the sling off and loosen any other bandaging under the sling and try straightening the arm if possible. If circulation doesn’t improve immediately seek medical advice ASAP.