The SAM Splint was invented by Dr. Sam Scheinberg who, as a trauma surgeon during the Vietnam War, found that field medics generally ignored the splint then issued by the Army. He developed the idea while playing with a foil chewing gum wrapper.
The device is often found in First Aid Kits, Emergency Medical Technician "jump kits," ambulances, and other similar settings. Generally supplied in a roll or as a flat strip up to 36 inches (91 cm) long and 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) wide, it can be unrolled or unfolded and formed to the shape of the injured person's body. Once folded into a curve, it becomes quite rigid and capable of immobilizing a number of different wounds, including the leg, forearm or humerus. Folded properly, it can also be used to stabilize the cervical spine. It can be easily cut with any scissors or shears, to make smaller devices such as finger splints. The SAM Splint is radiolucent meaning it does not interfere with X-Rays. After use, the SAM Splint can be cleaned, rerolled, and reused.
Additional sizes include 18 inches (46 cm) length, 9 inches (23 cm) length, 1.8 inches (4.6 cm) by 3.75 inches (9.5 cm) finger splint, and extra large 5.5 inches (14 cm) width by 36 inches (91 cm) length.
Features and Advantages
- Lightweight and compact
- Fastens in place with tape or wrap of choice; no extra equipment is needed
- Not affected by extreme temperatures or altitudes
- The closed-cell foam allows easy cleaning and disinfection; material compatible with all standard cleaning solutions
- Provides added stability for all limbs including the neck
- Latex Free
How the SAM splint works
The SAM SPLINT is based on an ancient construction principle: curves are strong. The reason lies in the physics of curved surfaces, the same physics that allows skyscrapers and bridges to be built of I-beams and hollow columns rather than heavy steel pillars. A flat piece of sheet metal bends easily, but if you mold it into any of several "structural curves," it becomes much more rigid. Many such curves are possible, but for splinting with the SAM SPLINT, you need only three basic curves. With these, you can convert a simple SAM SPLINT into something so strong that people have even used it as an emergency canoe paddle or snow shovel. That's more than strong enough for any conceivable splinting need.
At the same time, the SAM SPLINT is extremely moldable and soft enough to cut with ordinary household scissors. The result: with the proper choice of curves outlined in the training guide, almost any bone in the body can be splinted. It's even possible to use the SAM SPLINT to create an emergency cervical collar for neck injuries.
Who uses the SAM splint?
From outer space to the depths of the ocean, in all conditions of weather and terrain, the SAM SPLINT is the emergency splint of choice for:
- EMS personnel
- Military medics
- Athletic trainers
- Ski patrols
- Wilderness rescue teams
- Outdoor adventurers
- Safety engineers