There are a number of different femur splints available. These may be broadly grouped as ‘half ring’ splints (e.g. Donway, Thomas) and ‘non half ring’ splints (e.g. Sager or CT). NSW Ambulance use only the CT-6 splint (an advanced, lightweight form of traction splint).
Patients may arrive from the field with a splint attached. Remember that you should still be able to assess and monitor the neurovascular status of the leg, and remember to check for and regularly assess the skin for pressure sores from splint application.
You may transition to a different type of femoral splint once the patient arrives in the ED, pending your local protocols and the equipment available.
Appropriate splinting will assist with haemodynamic control as well as providing an analgesic affect, but remember that all patients with confirmed or highly suspected femoral fractures should have early consideration for regional analgesia (femoral nerve block, FNB or fascia iliaca block, FIB), upon arrival in the ED.
The following video has been prepared by the Queensland Ambulance Service and demonstrates the correct application of the CT-6 Splint on an adult patient with a femoral shaft fracture. The following link will take you to the product brochure with general information.
The Donway Traction Splint
The following video has been prepared by the ECI and demonstrates the correct use of the Donway Femur Traction Splint.