Monday, February 19, 2024

EMS Equipment - Traction Splints Addendum

For open femur fractures, it is essential to follow the principles of advanced trauma life support (ATLS) and local trauma management protocols.

These protocols typically recommend initial hemorrhage control, wound care, and expedited transport to a trauma center for definitive care.

According to the organization, International Trauma Life Support (ITLS), they advocate for the use of traction devices for open midshaft femur fractures.

ITLS reports the use of a traction device for open midshaft femur fractures can help reduce the risk of neurovascular injuries and alleviate patient pain. It highlights the importance of considering the patient's extrication and transportation needs when selecting a traction device.

In situations where the patient will be transported by air, the ITLS update suggests that a HARE traction splint may be preferred over a Sager traction splint. This is likely due to the design and ease of application of the HARE traction splint, which may be better suited for air transport scenarios.

It's important to note that guidelines and recommendations can vary across different organizations and regions. Therefore, it's crucial to consider the specific guidelines and protocols established by your local EMS authority or trauma organization when managing open midshaft femur fractures.


Alexander, M. & Belle, R. (2017) Advanced EMT: A Clinical Reasoning Approach (2nd Ed). Hoboken, New Jersey: Pearson Education

Davis, D. D., Ginglen, J. G., Kwon, Y. H., & Kahwaji, C. I. (2023) EMS Traction Splint. StatPearls. Accessed February 19, 2023

International Trauma Life Support (2011) Utilization of Traction Splints with Open Femur Fracture. Accessed November 14, 2023

Mistovich, J. J. & Karren, K. J. (2014) Prehospital Emergency Care (11th Ed). Hoboken, New Jersey: Pearson Education

The Bone School (ND) Femoral Shaft Fractures. Accessed February 19, 2024

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