Injuries the involved a broken bone or strained muscle or ligament will need to be immobilized to prevent further injury. Immediately after an accident, however, professional medical attention is not always available, making it necessary for non-professionals to provide first aid. Making a sling is a basic first aid skill that everyone should be familiar with.
Make a Shoulder Sling
Start by obtaining a triangle or rectangular piece of cloth that is about five feet wide at the base and at least 3 feet long on the side. If the sling is for a child, a piece of cloth that is three feet at the base and three feet long on the side can be used. A bath towel or small blanket works very well, but in an emergency ,a t-shirt cut along one of the side seams or a pair of pants can be made to work. Narrower items, such as a belt or piece of rope can also be used to make a sling, but they will not provide coverage of the wounded area. If using a rectangular piece of cloth, fold the fabric diagonally so that it forms a triangle.
Next, place the injured person’s elbow at the top point of the triangle, and his or her wrist at the halfway point along the triangle’s base. Ideally, have the injured person sitting at a table with their arm resting on a flat surface while typing the sling. Bring the two base points of the triangle, now located near the wrist of the injured person, around the front and back of the shoulder, and pin or tie the points securely together. Adjust the height of this knot or pin so that the elbow is bent at a right angle.
It is generally recommended that an injured arm should be kept still. To ensure that the arm does not move, tie the sling to the body of the victim with another piece of cloth wrapped around the chest and tied on the uninjured side. Remember to occasionally check the sling to ensure that it is not bound too tightly.
Of course, do not try to realign an injured body part unless the skin looks pale or blue or the victim has no pulse. Be sure to get the injured person to a medical professional as quickly as possible, especially if the wound is bleeding profusely. Even injuries that do not seem too severe should be seen by a doctor to ensure that they are healing properly.