The SAM Splint
The world-renowned SAM (Structural Aluminum Malleable) Splint was invented in 1985 by Dr. Sam Scheinberg, and has become the preferred splinting device for SAR teams, EMS, remote medical teams, and military field medical units throughout the world. SAM Splints are also used on the International Space Station.
The SAM Splint is a compact, lightweight, highly versatile device designed for immobilizing bone and soft tissue injuries in emergency settings. It consists of a layer of .016 inch strips of soft aluminum, with a polyethylene closed-cell foam coating. They are soft, extremely flexible, radiolucent (can be X-rayed), reusable, easily cleaned and reusable, not affected by adverse weather, and are extremely inexpensive, and available throughout the world.
There are many ways to utilize a SAM Splint, but the ten most popular ways the SAM Splint is used are:
1. Finger splint
2. Wrist splint
3. Short arm/wrist splint
4. Dislocated elbow splint
5. Upper-arm splint
6. Adjustable C-collar
7. Ankle splint
8. Single long leg splint
9. Double long leg splint
10. Knee immobilizing splint
The key factor in applying a SAM Splint is creating curves in the splint to provide support for the limb, while also bending the splint to contour the body, leaving almost no open spaces between the splint and the skin, which can reduce chaffing and increase patient comfort.
As mentioned before, another key benefit of the SAM Splint is its light weight. You can store a few SAM Splints in a surprisingly small space. (For those of you who attended PrepperMed in Denver last year, you might remember that I use a few of them to line the bottom of my bag to provide some rigidity and form, while keeping them easily accessible.)
In the video below, you will see references to more than the ten ways mentioned above, and you can watch more training videos on SAM Medical’s website (https://www.sammedical.com/training/sam-splint-training), or on their YouTube channel, here.