Ulsan, Korea – Medical device company New Cast Industries is putting polyurethane to use to produce tailor-made splints and casts.
The casts can replace traditional plaster-of-Paris and glass/epoxy composite casts with a number of benefits.
The casts are air permeable, which helps the skin maintain its health while the cast is on and it is light weight.
The casts are made by impregnating a woven polyester stocking in a partly reacted pre-polymer system.
In use the doctor selects the appropriately sized cast. The patient is fitted with an inner sock, the cast is placed over the sock and wetted. This starts the cross-linking reaction and in a few minutes the limb is be immobilised.
When the cast is no longer needed, it can easily be cut off using medical shears. More aggressive cutting processes are needed for epoxy casts, the firm said.
They are not for every type of break, but they seem to work well with children who are bad at keeping conventional casts dry.