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Arm Surgery | How To Prevent A Smelly Splint

Why Does My Splint Get Smelly?

So, we’ve covered the purpose of a splint, as well as how to care for the splint in a recent blog post.  But there is something a little more specific that needs to be covered in more detail.  A smelly splint.

This is definitely a problem for most people with a splint.  If the purpose of a splint is to immobilise and align the limb, then surely taking it off and giving the arm a wash is going to compromise that.  Right?

The short answer is: yes.  If you do not take a great deal of care when your arm is out of that splint, then all the hard work of immobilising and aligning could be dash in a single wash.  Having said that, there is definitely a technique to washing your arm, the splint and the tubigrip to ensure that both considerations are managed.  Even if your surgeon or doctor has specifically said that the splint cannot be removed, there is still a way to give that arm a wash without having to endure weeks with a smelly splint.

In this Nurse on the Go Video, Phill goes through both techniques – when you can take the splint off and when you can’t.  Either way, a great deal of care needs to be taken because the injury is vulnerable at this point.  Phill will show you more….


Nic Nash-Arnold has been nursing for twenty years. She has nursed thousands of patients, mainly in the operating theatre. Nicole has worked in both public and private hospitals in Queensland. Ten years ago, she left the “coal face” of nursing and moved into a Nurse Educator role and then a series of senior and executive hospital administration roles. Nic has always believed in the empowerment with education. That might be empowering nurses to provide better care or patients to take better care, but education is always the centre of the solution. Google 

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