Splint Sets & Accessories

Open view showing the contents of 97815 / 9781500 – Splint Set. Notice that the case is assembled from a single sheet of canvas wrapped around its contents.

Splints are material elements or devices used to protect, support, and immobilize a body part that is broken, fractured, or severely injured. Broken bones can cause total disability or death of a patient. A great deal depends upon the treatment a patient receives before being moved. Fixing the fragments of a broken bone prevents its rough and jagged edges from tearing blood vessels and nerves, which may cause serious bleeding and paralysis. Proper splinting will therefore relieve the pain of the fracture and will reduce and sometimes prevent shock. Procedures of “Splinting” are not simple, they require constant practice and careful attention to detail. It is also necessary to emphasize that all fractures of – long bones – should be splinted “where they lie”, before any movement or transportation of any kind is attempted. In general, proper splinting of a fracture prevents the occurrence of shock, local tissue damage, and infection. Recommendations and general principles when applying Splints:

  • The splint should immobilize the joint above and below the fracture
  • The splint should be padded so as not to injure the skin or cause discomfort
  • Most fractures of long bones should have traction exerted on the arm or leg involved
  • Splints should not be applied so tightly as to interfere with blood supply
  • Improvised splints can be made of boards or sticks padded with cloth, pieces of shirt, etc., the purpose is to immobilize the fragments
  • After fixing the splints, make sure the patient is covered by a blanket thus assisting in the prevention of shock

The United States Medical Department, already used a number of splints and various accessories during the Great War, but nevertheless continued to use, improve, develop and introduce more effective devices for effective use in the field. The object of this small article is to tackle the different Splint Sets in use with the Medical Department during WW2.

Item 9781500 – Splint Set contained within Item 9782000 Case, Splint Set, Empty (cases supplied in khaki and/or olive drab canvas)

The article uses as basic references Medical Department Supply Catalogs issued by the War Department. It must be noted that Splint Sets, Splint Accessories, and/or Splint Parts are listed under different classifications: Class 3 – Items in the 30000-39990 range: Surgical Appliances, Miscellaneous Diagnostic Instruments and Surgical Supplies Class 5 – Items in the 50000-59990 range: Dental Equipment and Supplies Class 9 – Items in the 91000-99990 range: Field Equipment and Supplies Note: Items with IWIS > “Issue While In Stock” indication, are those for which purchase for the Army was discontinued, but for which stock remaining from previous purchases was still issued until supply was exhausted; these items were also procured or issued under Lend-Lease to Allied Nations.

Medical Supply Catalog – War Department – November 1, 1942

Item 37386-545 – Splints Item 37414-520 – Splint Accessories (IWIS) > including such elements as Item 37414 Splint, Hodgen, Left + Item 37415 Splint, Hodgen, Right + Item 37420 Splint, Jones, Cock-Up, Crab + Item 37430 Splint, Jones, Humerus + Item 37438 Splint, Jones, Humerus Abduction + Item 37440 Splint, Liston + Item 37510 Splint, Thomas, Leg, Foot Support + Item 37520 Splint, Thomas, Leg Rest Item 37595-620 – Splint Accessories (IWIS) Item 377650 Splint Accessory: Sheet Aluminum > reclassified “Standard” 1 Apr 44 Item 55725 – Splint, Maxillary: Adjustable or Open Bite, Gunning, 6

Item 9204100 Bandage, Triangular, Compressed, Field Brown (or Olive Drab) without box and Item 9204000 Bandage, Triangular, Compressed, White (different Suppliers)

Item 93711-12 – Splints, Folding (including Item 93711 Splint, Army, Arm, Half-Ring, Folding + Item 93712 Splint, Army, Leg and Thigh, Half-Ring, Folding) Item 93715 – Splint, Coaptation (IWIS) Item 93725 – Splint, Hand and Wrist (IWIS) Item 93750 – Splint, Wire Gauze (including Item 93750 Splint, Wire Gauze: 5 ¼ Inches by 1 Yard) Item 97815-23 – Splint Sets

Obverse and reverse of Item 9204100 Bandage, Triangular, Compressed, Olive Drab (or Field Brown)

Medical Department Supply Catalog – War Department, June 1, 1943

Item 37386 – Splint, Basswood: 4 by 18 by 3/16 Inches, 10s Item 37388 – Splint, Basswood in Lengths: 4 x 3/16 Inches. 5 to 10 Feet (nearest commercial) Item 37390 – Splint, Cabot: Leg Fixation, Posterior, ¼-Inch Cold Rolled Steel Rod Item 37439 – Splint, Litter Bar Item 37455 – Splint, Strap: Adjustable Traction Item 37480 – Splint, Thomas, Arm, Hinged > replaced Item 37470 Splint, Thomas, Arm 15 Oct 43 Item 37500 – Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring: Issued with Two of 37515 or One of 37517 > replaced Item 37490 Splint, Thomas, Leg, Full Ring: Traction 15 Oct 43 Item 37505 – Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring, Pierson’s Attachment: Not for Field Use Item 37515 – Splint Support and Foot Rest Item 37517 – Splint Support and Foot Rest, Improved Item 37540 – Splint, Wire Ladder: Not Soldered, 3 ½ by 31 Inches Item 37545 – Splint, Wrist, Cock-Up: Aluminum Item 37570 – Splint Accessory – Buckle for 1-Inch Webbing: 3 Prong, Lightweight Item 37580 – Splint Accessory – Buckle for 1 ½-Inch Webbing: 3 Prong, Heavyweight Item 37590 – Splint Accessory – Buckle for 2-Inch Webbing Item 37600 – Splint Accessory – Felt, Firm Wool: ½-Inch Thick, 20 Inches Wide, for Padding Arch Supports Item 37610 – Splint Accessory – Felt, Saddle, Firm, Gray: ¼-Inch Thick, 36 Inches Wide, for Padding Splints Item 37615 – Splint Accessory – Asbestos-Felt, Soft, Gray: ¼-Inch Thick, 1 Yard Wide, for Use under Splints Item 37630 – Splint Accessory – Rod, ¼-Inch Steel: Cold Rolled, Round, 12-Foot Lengths, for Manufacturing Splints (Items 37390 & 37480) Splint Aeroplane (made locally) Item 37640 – Splint Accessory – Rod, 3/8-Inch Steel: Cold Rolled, Round, 12-Foot Lengths, for Manufacturing Splints (Item 37500) and Rings for Ischio-Calipers Item 37670 – Splint Accessory, Steel, Flat, 1/8-Inch by ½-Inch: Surgical Brace and Instrument Steel, 12-Foot Lengths, for Manufacturing Splints and Arm Braces Item 37680 – Splint Accessory, Steel, Flat, 3/16-Inch by 5/8-Inch: Surgical Brace and Instruments Steel, 12-Foot Lengths, for Manufacturing Splints, Leg Braces (made locally), and rings for Ischio-Calipers Item 37690 – Splint Accessory, Webbing, 1-Inch: Gray, Nonelastic Item 37700 – Splint Accessory, Webbing, 1½-Inch: Gray, Nonelastic Item 37710 – Splint Accessory, Webbing, 2-Inch: Gray, Nonelastic

Item 3754000 - Splint, Wire Ladder (different versions, with different dimensions). Also shown at top in original brown Kraft wrapping.

Item 3754000 – Splint, Wire Ladder (different versions, with different dimensions). Also shown at top in original brown Kraft wrapping.

Item 93711 – Splint, Army, Arm, Half-Ring, Folding Item 93712 – Splint, Army, Leg and Thigh, Half-Ring, Folding Item 93750 – Splint, Wire Gauze: 5 ¼-Inches by 1 Yard Item 97740 – Crash Splint Set: consisting of Four of Item 37515 Splint Support and Foot Rest

Item 3751700 – Splint, Support and Foot Rest, Improved (2 different versions)

Section II of subject Supply Catalog includes following Medical Department Assemblages, Parts & Components Parts:

97815 – Splint Set (including following elements) classified “Limited Standard” 15 Apr 44 – reclassified “Standard” 15 May 44:
Number Item Quantity
37386 Splint, Basswood 1 set
37439 Splint, Litter Bar 6
37455 Splint Strap 6
37480 Splint, Thomas, Arm, Hinged 6
37500 Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring 6
37515 Splint, Support and Foot Rest (reclassified “Standard” 15 May 44) 12
37540 Splint, Wire Ladder 6
79230 Strap and Buckle, 3-Feet 6
97820 Splint Set, Case, Empty (classified “Limited Standard” 15 Apr 44) (reclassified “Standard” 15 May 44) 1
97822 – Splint Set, Army (including following elements):
Number Item Quantity
37439 Splint, Litter Bar 1
37455 Splint Strap 1
37517 Splint, Support and Foot Rest, Improved 1
92040 Bandage, Triangular, Compressed 12
93711 Splint, Army, Arm, Half-Ring, Folding 1
93712 Splint, Army, Leg and Thigh, Half-Ring, Folding 1
97823 Splint Set, Army, Case, Empty 1

Note: following Items were deleted 1 Apr 44 > Item 37414 Splint, Hodgen, Left + Item 37415 Splint, Hodgen, Right + Item 37420 Splint, Jones, Cock-Up, Crab + Item 37430 Splint, Jones, Humerus + Item 37438 Splint, Jones, Humerus Abduction + 37440 Splint, Liston + Item 37510 Splint, Thomas, Leg, Foot Support + Item 37515 Splint, Support and Foot Rest + Item 37520 Splint, Thomas, Leg, Rest + Item 37595 Splint Accessory-Clip, Splint + Item 37620 Splint Accessory-Rod, Iron Wire + Item 55725 Splint, Maxillary + Item 97740 Crash Splint Set (Four of Item 37515 Splint Support and Foot Rest, replaced by Three of Item 37517 Splint Support and Foot Rest, Improved 1 Aug 43)

Item 3745500 – Splint, Strap (Adjustable Traction) (with and without box)

Medical Supply Catalog – War Department – 1 March 1944

Item 3738600 – Splint, Basswood, 10: Approximately 18-Inch Lengths Item 3738800 – Splint, Basswood: in Lengths (Foot) Item 3739000 – Splint, Cabot: Leg Fixation, Posterior, ¼-Inch Steel Rod Item 3743900 – Splint, Litter Bar Item 3745500 – Splint Strap: Adjustable Traction, 1-Inch Webbing Item 3748000 – Splint, Thomas, Arm, Hinged Item 3750000 – Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring: if Required, 3750500, 3751500 or 3751700 must be Requisitioned Individually Item 3750500 – Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring, Pierson’s Attachment: Not for Field Use Item 3751500 – Splint, Support and Foot Rest Item 3751700 – Splint, Support and Foot Rest, Improved Item 3754000 – Splint, Wire Ladder: 3 ½-Inches by 31 Inches Item 3754500 – Splint, Wrist, Cock-Up Item 3757000 – Splint Accessory, Buckle for 1-Inch Webbing: 3-Prong Item 3758000 – Splint Accessory, Buckle for 1 ½-Inch Webbing: 3-Prong Item 3759000 – Splint Accessory, Buckle for 2-Inch Webbing: 3-Prong Item 3760000 – Splint Accessory, Felt, Wool, White: ½-Inch Thick, 20 Inches Wide, for Padding Arch Supports Item 3761000 – Splint Accessory, Felt, Saddle, Gray: ¼-Inch Thick, 1 Yard Wide, for Padding Splints Item 3761500 – Splint Accessory, Asbestos-Felt, Soft, Gray: ½-Inch Thick, 1 Yard Wide, for Use Under Splints Item 3763000 – Splint Accessory, Rod, ¼-Inch, Steel: Round, for Manufacturing Splints Item 3764000 – Splint Accessory, Rod, 3/8-Inch, Steel: Round, for Manufacturing Splints and Rings for Ischio-Calipers Item 3765000 – Splint Accessory, Sheet, Aluminum: 18 by 24 Inches, for Manufacturing Splints for Wrists and Forearm Item 3767000 – Splint Accessory, Steel, Flat: 1/8-Inch by ½-Inch, for Manufacturing Splints and Arm Braces Item 3768000 – Splint Accessory, Steel, Flat: 3/16-Inch by 5/8-Inch, for Manufacturing Splints, Leg Braces and Rings for Ischio-Calipers Item 3769000 – Splint Accessory, Webbing, 1-Inch: Gray, Nonelastic Item 3770000 – Splint Accessory, Webbing, 1 ½-Inch: Gray, Nonelastic Item 3771000 – Splint Accessory, Webbing, 2-Inch: Gray, Nonelastic

Top: Item 37490 Splint, Thomas, Leg, Full Ring  Bottom: Item 3750000 - Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring

Top: Item 37490 Splint, Thomas, Leg, Full Ring
Bottom: Item 3750000 – Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring

tem 9371100 – Splint, Army, Arm, Half-Ring, Folding Item 9371200 – Splint, Army, Leg and Thigh, Half-Ring, Folding Item 9375000 – Splint, Wire Gauze, 5 ¼-Inch by 1 Yard

Original Army Leg Splint (Item # 3750000) still in original packing material.

Catalog MED 6, SETS: Small Assemblies, Kits and Chests include following Class 9 Items:

9781500 – Splint Set (including following elements):
Number Item Quantity
3738600 Splint, Basswood, 10 1
3743900 Splint, Litter Bar 6
3745500 Splint Strap 6
3748000 Splint, Thomas, Arm, Hinged 6
3750000 Splint, Army, Leg, Half-Ring 6
3751700 Splint, Support and Foot Rest, Improved 6
3754000 Splint, Wire Ladder 6
7923000 Strap and Buckle, 3 Feet 6
9204000 Bandage, Triangular, Compressed, White (replaced in 1945 by Field Brown fabric elements) 36
9782000 Case, Splint Set, Empty 1

Item 3751700 – Splint, Support and Foot Rest, Improved. This illustration shows the Supports as supplied, bound with metal wire in groups of 6.

9782200 – Splint Set, Army (including following elements):
Number Item Quantity
3743900 Splint, Litter Bar 1
3745500 Splint Strap 1
3751700 Splint, Support and Foot Rest, Improved 1
9204000 Bandage, Triangular, Compressed, White (replaced in 1945 by Field Brown fabric elements) 12
9371100 Splint, Army, Arm, Half-Ring, Folding 1
9371200 Splint, Army, Leg and Thigh, Half-Ring, Folding 1
9782300 Case, Splint Set, Army, Empty 1

Remarks: Wooden Splints are usually made of fixed lengths of 4-inch Basswood. Boards from discarded fruit crates are also satisfactory. They are mainly used for fractures and other severe injuries of the forearm and hand. The splints are cut into the desired shape and are well padded. Usually two splints are applied; one on the back of the forearm and hand, and the other on the inner or palm side. They are held in place with adhesive tape and/or bandage which should be applied snugly but not too tightly. The forearm can then be suspended in a sling. Aluminum splints are more satisfactory than wooden splints but they may not always be available. The advantage is that they may be molded, bent, and cut to any desired size and shape. When no splint is readily available, any handy article may be used to obtain adequate fixation of a fracture. Examples are rolled magazines, rifles, bayonets, scabbards, tent pins, wire, canes, broom handles, sticks, small pieces of board, etc. They may not be quite as satisfactory as a finished appliance, but will afford a good support when carefully applied.

Item 3738600 – Splint, Basswood, 10

The Wire Ladder Splint is used for fractures and injuries of the foot and ankle, and to maintain a fixed position of the shoulder, elbow, or wrist, when a position other than extension is desired. It can be used straight or bent to fit the lower portion of calf, heel, or foot. It is occasionally used for side splinting, in combination with a Cabot Posterior Splint. The Army Leg Splint is the most valuable of all splints when the saving of life is considered. It is used in nearly all fractures of the femur and can be used in fractures of the leg as far down as the ankle. The mortality rate for compound fractures of the femur was reduced from 50% to 15% during the Great War due to proper splinting of this bone.

Item 3743900 - Splint, Litter Bar (with and without Kraft paper wrapping)

Item 3743900 – Splint, Litter Bar (with and without Kraft paper wrapping)

The Army Leg Splint – Demonstration and Application:

Cover of Medical Field Service School pamphlet “The Army Leg Splint”, published in July 1942.

The Medical Field Service School at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania published a pamphlet entitled “THE ARMY LEG SPLINT – Demonstration and Application.” The first edition was produced in 1940, and revisions can be found until 1942. The pamphlet contained a total of 22 pages and detailed the group performance method of instruction on the Army Hinged Half-Ring Thigh and Leg Splint. The basic paragraphs contained within the pamphlet are as follows:

Section 1
Paragraph
Purpose 1
Text References 2
Previous Training of Troops 3
Preparation 4
     Troops Required 4a
     Uniform of Troops 4b
     Equipment Required 4c
     Instructional Aids 4d
Section 2
Procedure 5
     Explanation of Group Performance Method of Instruction 5a
     Preliminary Arrangements 5b-f
     Introduction of Subject by Instructor 5g
     Application of Army Leg Splint in 10 Steps 5h

The British and Canadians also manufactured Splint Sets for their own use, and supplied some of the sets to the US Forces under reverse Lend-Lease. Useful data, instructions and illustrations are included in the following official publications FM 8-50 Bandaging and Splinting, TM 8-220 Medical Department Soldier’s Handbook, and TM 8-230 Medical and Surgical Technicians.

This page was printed from the WW2 US Medical Research Centre on 25th May 2019 at 09:38.
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