In the preparation for the 19th World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine held in Cape Town – AfJEM asked African Emergency Medicine lovers something interesting –
“Can you hack, concoct, devise or contrive a wanted resource using only locally available materials? You can..? Really..? Now you can show it off & win some amazing prizes”
The rules of engagement we were given were:
- You can only use materials that are locally available
- Your end-product should have comparable functionality to the product it aims to replace
- It should be simple to hack, concoct, devise or contrive
- It should be novel (not have been described before)
#badEM authors & friends quickly went hard at work to submit our “tricks of the trade” & were excited to hear about the entries at the conference. After numerous entries Dr Stevan Bruijns & the AfJEM team voted for a Top 5; described below.
2nd Place – Lauren Lai King
A resourceful shoulder to lean on…
Shoulder dislocations are a common acute orthopedic complaint presenting to emergency centres throughout South Africa. Post reduction immobilisation is essential in the recovery and rehabilitation period. This core management step is not always implemented as a result of resource limitations, most commonly the unavailability of shoulder braces.
I propose the innovation of makeshift shoulder braces utilising easily accessible resources.
1. Improvised “polysling with shoulder stabiliser” from collar and cuff – Foam bandage is folded around the neck from which the sling can be suspended. Cable ties are used to secure the foam bandage into a support sling for the arm. Free edges of the sling are tied around the trunk to provide stabilisation and ensures that the upper limb is securely adducted to the torso. The sling can be untied with the free, uninjured hand to release the injured limb as necessary. Assistance is required during the initial fitment process and during each application of the sling.
2. Even more low resourced T-shirt shoulder stabiliser: In more resource limited settings, a shoulder sling can be created with the free edge of a t-shirt and 2 safety pins. The free edge of the t-shirt is folded up until the injured arm is supported in the shirt crease. The free edge is secured in place with a minimum of two safety pins. This creates an effective and user friendly solution. All aspects of the design can be completed by the injured individual with the uninjured hand.