Breaking an arm, leg, ankle or wrist can be a very scary and confusing experience. Once the shock of the injury has settled, and the cast is on, it’s important to ensure that any fracture is properly looked after so that it heals well.
Most plaster room departments give verbal advice to patients, and perhaps a leaflet too. Many departments then field lots of calls from patients who have either forgotten what they need to do or have lost the information about how to care for the cast whilst its in place! The advice in general is to ‘Keep it high, keep it dry’ but there are of course lots of questions, and practical situations, which those with a fracture face or need to consider.
Surprisingly there was limited information for patients online. Dean Chew, an Orthopaedic Technician with the BOA casting qualification, decided to help patients, and ease the pressure on NHS plaster rooms, by providing quick and easy online advice about how to look after casts.
With the help of funding from the Orthopaedic and Trauma Alliance (OTA) his concept has now been launched as the Pot Look website. The site gives information about all of the different types of casts and how to look after them, along with what to do if there are any problems. There’s a useful FAQ section and videos showing how to navigate stairs safely with a broken leg or ankle. We worked with Dean to help him with some useful advice on the site, and you’ll see links and logos to our LimbO product in various places too.
We’ve worked with the OTA and their members for many years, so it’s great to see their new developments to help patients and orthopaedic technicians. In recognition of his idea, Dean was awarded with the Anne Petty prize for Innovation in Healthcare at the last OTA Conference.
And as an aside the name ‘Pot Look’ comes from the fact that fracture casts are often called ‘pots’!