Features and Advantages
Questions & Answers
1. How long can Sager Splints be left on?
- Sager Emergency Traction Splints are just that – short-term emergency traction devices for use at the scene of an accident and while transporting the patient for more definitive care. Prolonged use of any traction device can cause pressure sores and/or other medical problems. If prolonged use is unavoidable, the splint contact areas should be monitored frequently and reduced traction and/or no traction and/or repositioning of the device should be considered. Please refer to local/state/federal splinting protocols for definitive guidance.
2. What advantage is there to using Sager’s revolutionary malleolar (ankle) harness?
- There is less chance of cutting off circulation with the Sager malleolar harness because it is applied above the malleoli of the ankle away from the posterior tibial and dorsalis pedis arteries. These arteries are deep in the ankle at the site of application of the Sager malleolar harness.
- It is quick and easy to apply.
- The traditional triple and quadruple type harnesses used with ischial pad traction splints are applied lower over the foot – directly over the dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial arteries at the location in the foot where they are most superficial and most susceptible to pressure or injuries.
3. Is there a danger that external rotation of the fractured femur can occur using a Sager splint?
- Most ischial pad traction splints in use today elevate the foot seven (7) inches. The hip may not be elevated at all – or at most – be elevated one (1) to two (2) inches.
- If the foot is the injured part, there may be some improvement in drainage and a decrease in congestion and swelling of that foot. However, this does nothing for the drainage of the injured femur.
- In order to take advantage of elevation, one would have to raise the foot (ankle) approximately twenty-two (22) inches in order to raise the femoral injury above the level of the heart. However, even this extreme elevation will not raise the injury above the level of the patient’s heart when the fracture is at the proximal end of the femur.
- Ischial pad traction splints cannot raise femurs above the level of the heart, therefore; this minimal elevation is of no value. It can also be detrimental.
- If elevation of the fracture site is desired, trendellenberg positioning of the patient should be considered. This is the only method to truly elevate the femur above the patient’s heart.
5. Are Sager Splints contraindicated in the case of massive fractures of the pelvis?
- Yes, but so are all traction splints – including Ischial pad traction splints since they also can compress and deform the ischial tuberosity which is part of the pelvis and subject to movement.
6. Why should I purchase a Sager Splint when some hospitals in my area utilize ischial pad traction splints or single pole traction splints and can exchange splint for splint?
Sager splints are the most advanced anatomical and medically engineered splints sold on the world market today. Remember:
- The Sager Splint is the only splint that provides bilateral splinting capabilities and quantifiably dynamic traction. One splint can treat either an adult or child with one or two fractured femurs. Ischial pad traction splints require the purchase of four splints to have the range of use of one Sager bilateral splint. Single pole splints do not treat bilateral fractures and are not universal. Like ischial pad splints, the amount of traction applied is unknown. Most importantly, with a Sager splint you will always know how much traction you have applied.
- Solution: Have your hospital join the increasing number of progressive hospitals nationwide who use Sager splints exclusively for in-hospital and service exchange use.
7. Are Sager splints comfortable to wear? Do they press against male and female genitalia?
Few people, male or female, complain about discomfort when sitting or riding on a bicycle. The structures used and pressed on in this situation are the same as those used when wearing a Sager Splint.
- Trials using a Sager Splint in practice situations should be undertaken with the “patient” wearing loose shorts and jeans so that natural genital mobility can take place. This is important for both male and female trainees/candidates.
- In real life situations, clothing should be opened, cut, and/or removed as part of the evaluation process of the patient.
- The ischial perineal cushion should be placed snugly in the lateral perineal area against the thigh and the ischial tuberosity and then strapped into place before applying traction.
8. Sager splints provide medial splinting and traction as well as prevention of internal and external rotation. Is this less desirable than posterior splinting?
No, not at all. One might consider posterior splinting as most desirable if one was transporting a patient without the use of a basket, spine board, and/or stretcher. This never happens, so why provide posterior support on a device that requires posterior support to be effective? Remember:
- Ischial pad traction splints must have a firm support beneath them in order to work and not slip off the ischial tuberosity. Example: it is difficult to apply these devices in snow.
- Time motion studies clearly reveal; an economy of time, decrease of unnecessary steps, decreased movement of the patient, and, a decrease in morbidity moving the patient from the place of injury to the hospital when a sager splint is used.
- Immobilization is better using a Sager splint if the patient has a proximal fracture of the femur – which is the most common type of femoral fracture.
- Sager’s splinting system works well with a spine board or stretcher.
9. Other splints utilize the outside (lateral side) of the leg. Can sager splints be placed and utilized on the outside of the leg?
- Sager splints were designed to be used in the same manner as that used in orthopedic operating theatres when open reduction and splinting is needed to treat a fractured femur. The splint is placed against the ischial tuberosity medial to the shaft of the femur. This avoids point pressure on the sciatic nerve as well as other vascular and soft tissue structures. It also provides the safest mode for reduction of the fracture.
- Lateral placed splints utilize a sling. Among other concerns, with the use of a sling there is no direct point of countertraction against the ischial tuberosity medial to the shaft of the femur. A direct point of countertraction creates optimum alignment of the fracture.
10. Will the elasticized tensor cravats used with Sager Splints be harmful if applied directly over the fracture site?
No. The limb is mobilized by traction helping to bring the fractured bones into alignment. The elasticized tenor cravats splint the leg further immobilizing it and at the same time help to decrease the blood loss at the fracture site.
For more information visit our Instructor’s page and download the Sager Training Manual.