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A sling is a piece of fabric made to hold an injured part of the body, limit its movement, and relieve pain.


What are the causes and risks of the injury?

A sling can be used for many different injuries, including:
  • bone fractures, such as wrist fractures and collarbone fractures
  • shoulder injury
  • sprains or strains involving the shoulder, arm, or hand
The causes of risks of those conditions are discussed in the articles specific to these injuries.


What can be done to prevent the injury?

Sports safety guidelines should be followed by adults, adolescents, and children.


How is the injury recognized?

The person will usually have pain, swelling, and limited movement of the injured body part.


What are the treatments for the injury?

A sling is one treatment for an injured body part. The following steps describe how to make a sling.
  • First, cut or tear a triangular piece of cloth from either a sheet or a large piece of cloth. The material should be about 5 feet wide at the base and 3 feet long.
  • Tie two of the three ends together.
  • Place the tied end around the person's neck, keeping it very loose. The injured arm is then placed in the fold of the cloth and allowed to hang there.
  • It is important not to tie the sling too tightly. Loosen the sling if it is too tight.
  • Try not to realign any obvious misaligned body parts.

Side Effects

What are the side effects of the treatments?

First aid treatment with a sling seldom has side effects. If the sling is too tight, it may cause loss of blood flow to the area.

After Treatment

What happens after treatment for the injury?

After a sling has been applied, one should seek care from a healthcare professional. He or she can recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include:
  • placing the injured limb in a more permanent sling
  • giving medication to reduce pain and swelling
  • further treatment of the specific injury

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