STS | Slishman Traction Splint
Traction splints are a critical component of pre-hospital emergency medicine. More specialized than most other splinting devices, traction splints are most commonly used to reduce and stabilize femur fractures. We provide the finest traction splint on the market: Rescue Essentials' own Slishman Traction Splint™ (STS). This revolutionary traction splint is lightweight, ultra-strong, easily applied and adjusted, and requires minimal training. Objections to traction splints have usually centered around the time it takes to apply them and the training and retraining that most traction splints require. The Slishman Traction Splint (STS) overcomes both of these objections
STS Slishman Traction Splint
The STS was developed by Dr. Sam Slishman at the University of New Mexico to overcome many of the the operational difficulties of older traction splint designs. The innovative STS design has the traction mechanism positioned at the patient’s hip. Femur traction is applied through the extension of the pole segments creating a pushing force on the ankle strap instead of pulling distally from the foot. This innovative design change provides a number of outstanding benefits over conventional traction splints:
- The STS Does Not Extend Beyond the Foot
The compact design of the STS won’t jam up against ambulance doors or prevent you from placing patients into aircraft. When extricating or hoisting the splint stays safely contained within the board, litter or basket. No risk of striking the splint resulting in further injury or pain to the patient.
- Rapid Patient Application in Under 60 Seconds
The unique design of the STS makes it the fastest splint to apply. No poles to assemble or mechanisms to set up. No long transport delays. Four step application process in rapid and easy.
- The STS is Not Contraindicated in Lower Leg Injury or Amputation
While other traction splints are contraindicated with lower leg injury or amputation, the STS’s unique design allows the ankle strap to be alternately positioned proximal to the calf. This allows femur traction to still be applied and leaves the lower leg accessible for other splinting or bandaging.
- Lightweight and Compact
The STS weighs only 21 ounces and is 23” W x 3” H in size. It takes up little space in vehicles or aircraft and can easily be strapped to jump bags and backpacks.
- One Size Fits All
The STS works with both adults and peds. No need to carry two different splints. If your agency requires you to carry two traction splints, two STS splints can be carried for bi-lateral splinting of peds and adults.
- Traction Mechanism Accessible During Transport
If traction adjustment is needed while enroute, the STS traction adjustment is accessible at the patient’s hip, not jammed up against the door or airframe at the
patient’s foot. You can easily and quickly adjust traction for maximum patient comfort.
The STS is radiolucent and will not interfere with patient imaging or exam. No need to remove the splint. The STS can stay on a patient all the way to surgery.
Traction splints are a critical component of pre-hospital emergency medicine. More specialized than most other splinting devices, traction splints are most commonly used to reduce and stabilize femur fractures. We provide the finest traction splint on the market: Rescue Essentials’ own Slishman Traction Splint™ (STS). This revolutionary traction splint is lightweight, ultra-strong, easily applied and adjusted, and requires minimal training. Objections to traction splints have usually centered around the time it takes to apply them and the training and retraining that most traction splints require. The Slishman Traction Splint (STS) overcomes both of these objections:
The STS is the easiest splint to train on. And it is the fastest and simplest to apply. The Slishman Traction Splint offers versatility not found in any other traction device. Due to its efficient design and simplicity of operation, most people can see it applied once, apply one themselves, and never again need re-training. Furthermore, the STS can be applied in a fraction of the time it takes to apply any other traction splint. It does not extend past the patient’s foot, facilitating transportation, and adjusts from the proximal end, meaning that traction can be adjusted during transit.
In 2007 the current version of the STS was developed by Dr. Sam Slishman, but was only made available in the US by Rescue Essentials in 2012. Like the KTD and its relatives, it is a compact lateral monopole splint. But the major advantages offered by the STS are these:
- No extension past the foot
This is particularly important for tall patients and for tight transports in baskets, helicopters and ambulances.
- Proximal traction
All other splints require the rescuer to apply traction distal to the foot. Proximal traction permits rescuers to remain closer to the patient’s head. It also makes traction readjustment easier in tight spaces like helicopters. And it has the side benefit that cooperative and coherent patients are sometimes able to adjust traction to their own fractured femurs to find the position of greatest comfort.
Psychologically this is an enormous advantage because patients can control their own pain. With all other splints, the rescuer-patient interaction goes something like: “As traction is applied to your leg, you may feel discomfort, but eventually you will feel better.” With the STS the dynamic shifts: “Let’s apply traction together until you feel maximum pain relief.” Very different.
- Useful despite lower leg trauma.
All other traction splints require an intact lower leg to apply traction. For patients with dislocated ankles, tibia fractures, knee sprains, or foot amputations, traction splinting can be impossible. Because the STS ankle hitch may be applied proximal to the calf, or even proximal to the patella, femur traction is still possible.
In addition to the above distinctions, the STS weighs less than 25 ounces, packs compactly, is relatively radiolucent and permits patient rolling, rectal exam, and Foley insertion. Like other lateral monopole splints, it fits all sizes from pediatrics to adults.
Because it is more rigid than KTD-like splints, the STS requires no mid leg straps to maintain traction, though one is provided for rotational stability. For KTD-like splints, the midleg straps keep the splint itself from bowing. The STS is far more rigid with negligible bowing.
Traction in the STS is delivered by an internal pulley mechanism, which offers traction comparable to the CT-6. The input force vs output traction has been tested using more than 80 pounds of input force as shown here:
(The two data sets represent the difference in traction output, depending on which end of the splint is held fixed. Traction applied to a patient, therefore, is somewhere in between, because both distal and proximal ends of the splint move in actual use.)