Left Arm Splints Significantly Degrade Driving

But arm immobilization devices on either right or left appear to worsen driving performance
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Immobilization of a limb does not prevent many people from driving, but wearing an arm splint appears to have a detrimental effect on this skill, according to research published in the Oct. 6 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Paul Y. Chong, M.D., of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, and colleagues analyzed the performance of 30 officers-in-training while they completed a drivers' course while wearing a sequence of fiberglass splints to determine if the immobilization of an arm has a detrimental effect on driving.

The researchers found a significant decrease in performance (i.e., cone-adjusted time) with left arm in an above-the-elbow thumb spica splint or in a below-the-elbow splint. Forward-only course section analyses revealed poorer performance in all splints; the worst performance was in those wearing a left arm above-the-elbow thumb spica splint, which was perceived to have the highest difficulty and lowest safety. The authors concluded this was likely due to visual and spatial constraints with a left-sided driver seat.

"Driving performance as measured with a standardized track and scoring system was significantly degraded with splint immobilization of the left arm. Further studies are required to determine the effect of arm immobilization on normal driving conditions," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles Recommended Nursing Articles

Abdominal Pain: An Approach to a Challenging Diagnosis
AACN Advanced Critical Care, July/September 2014
Free access will expire on October 13, 2014.

HIPAA Compliance Practice Tips
Professional Case Management, July/August 2014
Free access will expire on September 29, 2014.

Follow the leader: How does “followership” influence nurse burnout?
Nursing Management, August 2014
Free access will expire on September 29, 2014.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events