FRACTURE OF THE FEMUR (THIGH BONE) - ONE OF THE DEADLIEST WOUNDS
X-ray showing fracture of femur
In 1914, this fracture was splinted using a rifle splint which was useless because it failed to immobilise the fracture. Patients collapsed due to blood loss. The death rate was about 80%.
Rifle Splint from RAMC Handbook, 1911
THE THOMAS SPLINT-A REVOLUTION IN THE MANAGEMENT OF FRACTURES OF THE FEMUR
The Thomas Splint immobilised fractures of the femur effectively and blood loss was significantly reduced.
Patients reached Casualty Clearing Stations fit to undergo wound excision to save their limbs & their lives.
At the Battle of Arras in April/May 1917, Henry Gray was responsible for the management of 1,006 fractures of the femur. He reduced mortality from 4 in 5 to < 1 in 5.