With a fracture in the leg it’s important to immobilize the injured area and provide pain relief for the patient. Nothing accomplishes that better than an effective splint, and for his money Irving Kinney, ski patrol supervisor and risk manager with The Hidden Valley Club ski area in Vernon, NJ, and captain of the Newton First Aid Rescue Squad in Newton, NJ, says nothing beats a Sager splint from Minto Research and Development.
“I have been a ski patroller for over 40 years and a (rescue) squad member for over 20 years,” Kinney says. “There are a large number of ski areas that use the Sager splint because it truly is a one-man operation. The biggest reason (we chose the Sager) is because it’s more anatomically correct and vastly easier to apply.”
Kinney says he depends on his daytime paid patrollers to be able to apply traction themselves. “At any time we can be separated and drawn to two different places on the mountain at the same time to (respond to) an accident, so I want to make sure my day guys can draw bystanders off their skis or snowboards (by themselves) and talk the patient through anything they need to do to assist them.”
Sager splints aren’t just effective on the slopes, Kinney says. “Two years ago I had an opportunity to respond to an 88-year-old woman who fell off her sidewalk and fractured her femur—actually had an overlapping fracture, still closed—and I had the femur packaged and ready to go before the paramedics ever arrived on scene. I also had an opportunity to install a Sager on an individual with a fractured femur in the passenger seat of an SUV. I could fix the Sager on her while she was still in the car and it was easier to extricate her because, with the bilateral Sagers, we could strap both legs together move her as one full unit.
“It’s a very simple splint,” Kinney adds, “and I don’t know why everyone’s not using it.”