Plaster of Paris (POP) casts are often applied in the Emergency Department as means of immobilising fractures, pre-operative protection and pain relief.

Application of POP is a procedure, often performed by nurses. It is an extended clinical skill requiring sound knowledge, not only in the process of application, limb positioning but also the fundamentals musculoskeletal physiology.

Patient education in terms of complications of wearing a plaster cast is also a necessity. During a clinical placement in the ED, you may have the opportunity to become involved in musculoskeletal assessment and the application of a POP to a limb.

Within this module there are a number of resources that inform and guide practice, taking into consideration nursing assessment, cast application and potential complications that could lead to neurovascular compromise.

Application of Plaster of Paris in the Emergency Department
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Cast Application
Applying the cast

Plaster Tips & Guides
Some very useful plaster resources for you reference (Courtesy of LITFL and George Douros from the Austin Hospital in Melbourne).

Fracture Casting Videos
A collection of Fracture Casting Videos from The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

Hernigou, P. (2016). Plaster of paris: The orthopaedic surgeon heritage. International Orthopaedics, 40(8), 1767-1779. doi:10.1007/s00264-016-3179-2

Honeyman, C., & Hoult, S. (2016). An updated non-drip plaster of paris. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 98(1), 71-71. doi:10.1308/rcsann.2016.0020

Patel, N., Wilson, L., & Wansbrough, G. (2017). Does cutting a plaster window weaken its strength? Injury, 48(3), 648-652. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2017.01.030