Aluminum upholstery rail

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The aluminum upholstery splint is a malleable splint for immobilizing the extremities. It is mainly used in preclinical emergency medicine and in the outdoor area.

Aluminum upholstery splint shaped to treat a wrist fracture

The generic names for the aluminum upholstery rail are the product names SAM Splint ( English SAM rail) from SAM Medical Products and Koch Splint from Dr. Paul Koch GmbH enforced.


The first flexible, adaptable rail material was the wire conductor rail or Cramer rail . It consists of zinc wire and is padded with upholstery wadding, cellulose or foam and wrapped with bandages to fix the upholstery material. It can be extended by plugging it together. It is used in a similar way to the aluminum upholstery rail.


SamSplint, front and back

The aluminum upholstery rail consists of a thin, flexible sheet of aluminum, padded on both sides with foam , usually foam rubber , neoprene or similar. The rail is available in different sizes for legs, arms and fingers. The most common is the 11 × 90 cm format, which is offered as a handy roll or folded. Due to its flexibility, it is easy to adapt to the injured extremity . Bringing it into a U-shape lengthways gives it the necessary stability to splint simple fractures .

The greatest advantages are the low weight and the low space requirement as well as the usability without additional devices (such as suction pumps for vacuum splints), gauze bandages or triangular cloth ties are used to fix it to the body . Sam Splint rails are therefore mainly used in the outdoor area ( military , mountain rescue service , medical guard service ). The American orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sam Scheinberg developed it based on his experiences in the Vietnam War.


The splint is first preformed in order to fit the injured part of the patient's body as precisely as possible. Since shaping the splint directly on the injury would cause pain, the helper adjusts the splint to his own body or to the opposite, healthy part of the patient's body. The preformed splint is then placed on the patient, corrected and finally fixed with gauze bandages or triangular towels.


  • Tamino Trübenbach, Roland Lipp and Kersten Enke (eds.): LPN 1 - Basics and techniques . 2nd, revised edition. P. 259f. Stumpf and Kossendey, Edewecht, Vienna 2000, ISBN 3-932750-40-3
  • Egon Jung: Textbook for the medical service - medical training in one volume . P. 196. Hofmann, Augsburg 1997, ISBN 3-922865-65-8

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