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Managing patients with plaster casts

1

Discoloured fingers

or toes should mean urgent attendance at the fracture clinic or A&E as the plaster maybe too tight.

2

The sudden onset of pain beneath a plaster means specialist advice is needed urgently.

3

Itching beneath a plaster should be remedied, not by inserting a knitting needle, but by cold air from a hair drier.

4

To avoid stiffness and thrombosis patients should be encouraged to move all other joints frequently.

5

If a foul smell develops then the plaster may need to be removed, as a skin infection may have developed due to chaffing.

6

The plaster needs

to remain dry ­ Xerosox (telephone 02086462040) provides protection to allow patients to shower and bathe. Binliners and carrier bags are not sufficient or waterproof.

7

Protective socks are good in sand and allow children to play on a beach.

8

When resting with a leg plaster, the limb should be raised above the heart to prevent or reduce swelling.

9

For arm plasters, use cushions to raise the limb to above shoulder level.

10

A raised toilet seat can make life a lot easier for a patient with a leg plaster and may be essential for an older patient or patient with restriction in movement of the back or hip.

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