12. IMMOBILIZATION

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The main therapeutic measure for wounds of bones and joints is rest of the injured area of the body. The state of rest is created by immobilization, which serves as a means of protection against the expansion of infection in the wound and the main therapeutic measure against pain as a preventive anti-shock measure. Immobilization is especially important in wounds of bones and joints.

Immobilization fixes bone fragments at the site of the fracture, keeps them in contact, which greatly facilitates special surgical treatment and ultimately contributes to the rapid healing of the fracture.

Further, the immobilization of the fracture acts sparingly on the periosteum, surrounding muscles, nerves and vessels, protects them from injuries by bone fragments, prevents the occurrence of pain and bleeding, that is, prevents the development of shock.
A fracture properly immobilized already during first aid heals twice as quickly as a fracture treated without immobilization. Consequently, immobilization is the basic prerequisite for the special treatment of fractures, sprains, and ligament sprains.

In most cases, flat, narrow objects attached to the wounded area of the body by means of a bandage, rope, or braid are used as immobilization devices. These immobilization devices are called splints. A distinction is made between standard, factory-made, wooden and wire “ladder” Kramer splints; recently, inflatable splints made of rubber or plastic materials have been used. In the absence of standard splints, improvised splints can be used for immobilization if necessary: sticks, umbrellas, planks, rulers, rods. To avoid pressure on body tissues, splints are lined with a layer of absorbent cotton before use.
Triangular scarves are used to suspend the injured arm from a sling; for immobilization of rib fractures and dislocations, adhesive plasters and elastic bandages are used.



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