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Plain English plaster care instructions:

Date issued: October 2021 

Review date: October 2023

Ref: C-473

PDF:  Plain English plaster care instructions final October 2021.pdf [pdf] 129KB

Plain English plaster care instructions:

(Staff to highlight) your plaster is made of:
• Plaster of Paris. This can take up to 72 hours to dry. It must dry naturally. Please do not try to speed up the drying by using a heater or hair drier. Your plaster may require the staff to use a plaster saw to remove the cast when you are fully healed.
• A synthetic cast. This takes an hour to dry. The staff will need to use a plaster saw to remove it.
• Soft combination cast. This takes an hour to dry. Staff will unroll the top layer and use scissors to cut away the bottom layer when you are fully healed.
• Red banded casts are given to patients who have been assessed at risk of developing pressure sores or skin damage.

It is important to:

• Keep your cast dry
• Phone the Plaster Room if you have a problem with your cast tel:01752 517508 or 01752 430439 (Mon-Fri 8:30-5:00)
• Keep your cast elevated; sit or lie with your arm/leg on a cushion or pillow. This will help with swelling
• Exercise your joints
• Keep pressure off your bony areas: your heel if your leg is in plaster or your elbow if your arm is in plaster

You must not put anything down your plaster no matter how itchy your limb may become.
If you get any of the issues below you must contact the Plaster Room or attend ED after hours if:
• Your calf (leg muscle) feels tight or is painful
• Your limb is very swollen
• You have constant pins and needles, numbness or poor circulation, your fingers or toes go blue
• There is discharge or a foul smell coming from your cast
• Your cast becomes tight, loose, cracks or breaks

Signs and symptoms of DVT:

The practitioner who plastered you will have discussed the risk of DVTs (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

In some cases of DVT the person will have no apparent symptoms. Possible symptoms can include:

• Pain, swelling or tenderness in your calf
• A heavy ache
• Warm skin

It is important to come back into ED if you:

• Suffer from breathlessness that can come on gradually or suddenly
• Chest pain which gets worse each time you breathe in
• Collapse suddenly, please take your discharge paperwork with you

If you are planning to fly anywhere:

Please mention to the staff in the Plaster Room if you are planning to fly anywhere within 6 weeks of having your cast removed.

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