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Managing patients with plaster casts


Discoloured fingers

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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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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