SAM Splint designer Dr Sam Scheinberg worked as an orthopaedic surgeon. Based on the rugged Oregon Coast and also as a trauma surgeon during the Vietnam War. From these experiences he amassed an understanding and knowledge of remote settings and outdoor emergency situations. Whilst on duty in Vietnam, Sam identified that the splints available were bulky and inadequate for the tasks in hand. Most of them were even being ignored and unused by the army because of how poor they were.
When returning home to America, Sam wanted to work on an idea to create a lightweight, strong, reliable and reusable splint. As with most inventions, the idea came at the strangest time; after a 24 hour surgical shift, whilst toying with a chewing gum wrapper! Thanks to help from his wife and a lot of experimentation, after a few years the SAM SPLINT was born.
All splints, bar traction, gain their strength from the rigidity of the materials they are created from. Air/Vacuum splints obviously gain their rigidity through the presence or absence of air pressure. This is where the SAM is completely different. This splint has very little inherent rigidity, however, it gains strength from the structural curves that can be created. Once used the cross-section curves can be folded back into place and then easily folded or rolled for storage.
SAM SPLINT Basics
The SAM SPLINT is now recognised by emergency services, outdoor enthusiasts and even the NASA space program. The perfect solution to heavy and bulky splints with little room for adjustment. The SAM is created with a thin core of soft aluminium alloy, between two layers of closed-cell foam. This all adds up to a lightweight, easy to carry, pliable splint – which when bent into any of the three simple curves becomes strong and supportive for any injured or fractured limb.
How can this work? It's simple physics, the same that allows huge buildings and bridges to be built on I-beams and hollow columns, instead of heavy steel pillars. When a flat piece of sheet metal is moulded in a structured curve, it becomes much more rigid. When using the splint you need only use three basic curves, these three curves can be used to create the strongest of splints.
The beauty of the splint lies in its malleable structure, it can be moulded in any way with the greatest of ease. It is also soft enough to cut to a certain shape with normal household scissors. This means, when moulded correctly, almost any bone in the body can be splinted. The material is radiolucent which makes it appear almost invisible on an X-ray, which means the splint once applied can be left on during this process.
What are the 3 Basic bends?
Without any bends, the SAM SPLINT is completely malleable, to be shaped however the user desires. When you make a curve or fold anywhere across its longitudinal axis, it becomes rigid and suitable for splinting. With the following 3 bends; C-Curve, Reverse C-Curve and T-Curve, the strength and rigidity allow any bone to be splinted appropriately.
C-Curve - Strong
This curve immediately adds strength and rigidity to the splint. It can be done by placing your thumbs in the centre as a place, and pulling in the edges to create a shallow C.
Reverse C-Curve - Stronger
Created by firstly making the C-Curve, then bending back both edges in the reverse direction to add additional strength.
T-Curve - Strongest
Fold the splint in half lengthways then bend half of each side back in the opposite direction to create a 'T' shaped beam. Bending the splint this way adds exceptional strength to the splint.
Who uses it and how?
Since its release in 1985, the SAM SPLINT is used almost everywhere! From the deepest of oceans to outer space, on every terrain and in every weather condition it is the first choice emergency splint for: Athletic Trainers, Ski Patrols, Wilderness Rescue Teams, Military Medics, EMS Personnel, Outdoor Adventurers, Boaters, Safety Engineers, Veterinarians and many more.
As for how the splint can be used, the list would be endless. In fact, individuals within the emergency sector are constantly finding new ideas. Primarily the SAM will splint a finger, wrist, thumb, arm, neck, leg, ankle etc. However, the growing list of alternative ideas really stretches the imagination, it has successfully been used as a flame guard, a flexible container, an emergency sandal, a climbing helmet and a cup insulator. The SAM SPLINT range is available to order now directly from Steroplast Healthcare, Click HERE to view the entire range.