Document Detail

Splitting plaster with a scalpel blade: a safe way to allow easy splitting of a plaster.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18243198     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Splitting of a plaster cast is frequently required to accommodate post-operative limb swelling. Oscillating saws are often used but can cause injury and distress and cannot be used when the plaster is drying. At these times plaster shears are used. A safe technique is described which safely divides drying plaster using a sharp scalpel. METHOD: Plaster casts were applied to 40 modelling balloons, consisting of one roll of 3-in. and one roll of 4-in. plaster. The balloons had either two or four wool layers beneath the plaster. Ten from each group were split using our technique and 10 from each group were split with plaster shears. The number of balloons that were not burst during the splitting process was recorded. RESULTS: Of the 20 plasters split with a scalpel, all of the balloons remained inflated. The balloons underneath two of the plasters with two layers of wool that were split using plaster shears burst during splitting. When the plasters split with a scalpel were dry they could be opened easily using cast spreaders and the wool cut with scissors without the balloons bursting. CONCLUSION: This is a safe and simple technique for splitting a drying plaster without the need for extra materials. It allows easy completion of the release with scissors alone should swelling of the soft tissues become excessive. The need for plaster shears or oscillating saws with the potential trauma associated with these established methods is eliminated.
E J P O'Leary; S Griffin; K J Tayton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Injury     Volume:  39     ISSN:  0020-1383     ISO Abbreviation:  Injury     Publication Date:  2008 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-12     Completed Date:  2008-08-12     Revised Date:  2009-05-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0226040     Medline TA:  Injury     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  368-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Royal Gwent Hospital, Cardiff Road, Newport, Gwent NP20 2UB, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Casts, Surgical* / adverse effects
Device Removal / instrumentation*
Models, Anatomic
Comment In:
Injury. 2009 Jun;40(6):674   [PMID:  19380128 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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