How to Make a Sling

Making a sling is a simple procedure, and it is very handy to immobilize an injured shoulder, arm, or collarbone.

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Would you know how to help someone who is in shock; needs CPR; is choking; has been poisoned; has suffered a burn; has alcohol poisoning; is having an allergic reaction; has had a tooth knocked out; has something in their eye; is bleeding; has been bitten by a cat or dog; or has some other medical emergency? You will if you watch these first aid videos from Howcast.

You Will Need

  • A large piece of cloth
  • A pair of scissors
  • And a long, thin piece of cloth
  • A long-sleeved shirt or sweater (optional) (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Cut cloth into square

    Cut a large piece of cloth into a square that is at least 40" on each side.

  2. If necessary, dress any wounds or make a splint before putting the arm in a sling.

  3. Step 2

    Fold in half

    Fold the cloth diagonally in half, forming a triangle.

  4. Step 3

    Place sling

    Drape the triangle so its base runs up and down the chest opposite the injured side, with the top corner dangling over and behind the shoulder on the uninjured side, and the bottom corner hanging below the waist. The corner opposite the base should wrap part way around the waist, lying between the torso and the injured arm's elbow.

  5. Step 4

    Support arm

    Gently support the injured arm at the elbow across the torso.

  6. Step 5

    Drape corner

    Lift the bottom corner up so the sling now cradles the injured arm. The hand should extend just past the base of the triangle and the elbow should be supported by the corner that's opposite the base. Drape that same corner you just lifted over and behind the shoulder above the injured arm.

  7. Step 6

    Tie two corners together

    Tie the two corners that are behind either shoulder to each other so they loop behind the neck, adjusting the knot so the elbow is bent at a right angle, not drooping low or pulled too high.

  8. If you don't have a piece of cloth available, use a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. Simply tie the sleeves together behind the neck and anchor the arm with the body of the shirt.

  9. Step 7

    Secure sling w/ cloth

    To further immobilize the arm, wrap a long, thin piece of cloth around the body to keep the arm securely against the body.

  10. After his arm was shattered in a car accident, legendary guitarist Les Paul instructed surgeons set his arm at an angle, allowing him to continue to play.

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