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How to make an arm sling

An arm sling holds the forearm in a raised or horizontal position and can support an injured upper arm, forearm and wrist. The sling is also a useful visual warning to others that someone is injured.

Watch our video - how to make an arm sling

What to do

1. Ask the casualty to support their arm with their other hand. Gently slide the triangular bandage underneath the arm. The point of the triangle should be underneath the elbow of the injured arm. Bring the top end of the bandage around the back of the neck.

Arm sling - point of triangle should be underneath elbow, with long side under the hand

2. Fold the lower end of the bandage up over the forearm to meet the top of the bandage at the shoulder of the injured side.

Arm sling - fold lower end up over the forearm to the neck, same side as injury

3. Tie the two ends of the bandage together in a reef knot above their collar bone and tuck in the free ends.

Arm sling - tie two ends together in reef knot

4. Adjust the sling so that it supports their arm all the way to the end of their little finger.

Arm sling - adjust the sling to support the arm all the way to the little finger

5. Make sure that the edge of the bandage by the elbow is secured by twisting the fabric and tucking it in, or using a safety pin to fasten.

Arm sling - twist and tuck in edge of bandage by elbow

6. Check the circulation in their fingertips every 10 minutes. Press their nail for 5 seconds until it turns pale, then release to see if the colour returns within 2 seconds.

Arm sling - check circulation in fingertips


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