By Sam Scheinberg, MD, The Seaberg Co. Inc.
Therefore, I can only hope such a device (Traction Splint) is applied to me or my family members if we are ever so unfortunate to suffer such a terrible injury.
Our company does not manufacture, sell or have any financial relationship with any femoral traction splints.
I would like to commend Bledsoe and Barnes on their willingness to question established benefits. It’s exactly that kind of thinking and courage that has produced many of the major advances in the health-care field. The fact that one community experienced a low incidence of femoral fractures has little meaning. I practiced orthopaedics in an equally small community and at one point treated eight femoral shaft fractures in three separate hospitals. Is this normal? Of course not, but it does illustrate that types of trauma can vary according to many factors, including speed limits and road conditions.
Bledsoe and Barnes cite complications regarding the improper use of femoral traction splints and make specific reference to a lengthy use of six hours. I can state only that the improper use of any device (e.g., drying your hair in a microwave oven) could lead to serious complications. Recognizing that blood loss, vascular and neurological complications and morbidity can vary according to fracture type, transport time, provider skills, immobilization techniques, age, pre-injury health status and associated injuries,
I believe the overriding reason for prehospital femoral traction (excluding the wilderness setting) is for pain relief. During my 30 years as an orthopaedic surgeon, I have witnessed the dramatic pain relief provided by femoral traction splints and significant increase in pain when these devices were removed.
Therefore, I can only hope such a device is applied to me or my family members if we are ever so unfortunate to suffer such a terrible injury.