Slings are used to support an injured arm, or to supplement treatment for another injury such as fractured ribs. Generally, the most effective sling is made with a triangular bandage. Every first aid kit, no matter how small, should have at least two of these bandages as essential items.

Although triangular bandages are preferable, any material, ex. tie, belt, or piece of twine or rope, can be used in an emergency. If no likely material is to hand, and injured arm can be adequately supported by inserting it inside the casualty’s shirt or blouse. Similarly, a safety pin applied to a sleeve and secured to clothing on the chest may suffice.
There are essentially three types of sling; the arm sling for injuries to the forearm, the St John sling for injuries to the shoulder, and the ‘collar-and-cuff’ or clove hitch for injuries to the upper arm and as supplementary support to fractured ribs.
On application of any sling, always check the circulation to the limb by feeling for the pulse at the wrist, or squeezing a fingernail and observing for change of color in the nail bed.