redness around it on the third day and the
remainder on the fifth day.
b. Body and scalp: 7 days.
c. Soles, palms, back, or over joints: 10 days,
unless excess tissue reaction is apparent
around the suture, in which case they should
come out sooner.
d. Any suture with pus or infection around it
should be removed immediately, since the
suture's presence will make the infection
e. When wire is used, it may be left in safely for
10 to 14 days.
Many kinds of accidents cause injuries to bones,
joints, or muscles. In giving first aid or emergency
treatment to an injured person, you must always look
for signs of fractures (broken bones), dislocations,
sprains, strains, and contusions.
An essential part of the emergency treatment for
fractures consists of immobilizing the injured part with
splints so that the sharp ends of broken bones will not
move around and cause further damage to nerves,
blood vessels, or vital organs. Splints are also used to
immobilize severely injured joints or muscles and to
prevent the enlargement of extensive wounds. You
must have a general understanding of the use of splints
before going on to learn the detailed first aid treatment
for injuries to bones, joints, and muscles.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the
different types of splints that are available,
and determine how and when they should be
In an emergency, almost any firm object or
material will serve as a splint. Thus, umbrellas, canes,
rifles, tent pegs, sticks, oars, wire mesh, boards,
corrugated cardboard, and folded newspapers can be
used as splints. A fractured leg may sometimes be
splinted by fastening it securely to the uninjured leg.
Whenever available, use manufactured splints such as
pneumatic splints or traction splints.
Splints, whether manufactured or improvised,
must fulfill certain requirements. They should be
lightweight, strong, fairly rigid, and long enough to
reach past the joints above and below the fracture.
They should be wide enough so that the bandages used
to hold them in place will not pinch the injured part.
Splints must be well padded on the sides touching the
body; if they are not properly padded, they will not fit
well and will not adequately immobilize the injured
part. If you have to improvise the padding for a splint,
you may use clothing, bandages, cotton, blankets, or
any other soft material. If the victim is wearing heavy
clothes, you may be able to apply the splint on the
outside, allowing the clothing to serve as at least part of
the required padding. Fasten splints in place with
Children under 3 years
All other faces
Feet, elbows, knees
#34 or #36 wire, or 4-0
6-0 or 5-0
Table 4-4.Suture Guide