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About SAM Medical Products
SAM Medical Products is a developer and manufacturer of innovative medical products used for emergency, military, and hospital care. Our products include the widely used SAM Splint, SAM Chest Seal, SAM Pelvic Sling, Soft Shell Splint, CELOX line of hemostatic agents, BursaMed line of shear and friction relieving dressings, and Blist-O-Ban blister prevention bandages. For more than 25 years, SAM Medical Products has represented innovation and quality to the medical professional.
"SAM Medical Products. Customer driven solutions."
View our About Us brochure, "It All Started With A Gum Wrapper".
The Story of the SAM Splint
Dr. Sam Scheinberg knows all about splints and the variety of emergency applications in which a splint might be necessary. As a trauma surgeon during the Vietnam War and as a board certified orthopedic surgeon on the Oregon Coast, he saw plenty of fractures and broken bones.
Vietnam demonstrated how woefully inadequate splints of the 1960s and '70s were. Bulky constructs of wire, cardboard, and all-too-easily punctured air splints, they couldn't be reused, never seemed to properly fit, and frequently caused more harm than good. In Vietnam, field medics often ignored them and substituted even more old-fashioned techniques, such as lashing poles and branches (or even parts of a rifle) to the injured limb.
On his return to the U.S., Sam pondered this problem. He wondered if there was a way to make a light-weight but strong, reliable, and reusable splint. Relaxing after a 24 hour shift, Sam was playing with the foil wrapper of the gum he was chewing, curling it around his finger. In an "Aha!" moment, he realized that the foil, while flimsy in its normal state, was much stronger when bent into a "U" shaped curve.
Intrigued, Sam obtained a larger piece of aluminum and began work on his first prototype. He found that a thin sheet of soft aluminum curved in cross section into the shape of a "C", a "Reverse-C", or a "T", became remarkably rigid. With the right padding materials, Sam realized it would make an exceptional splint. Having satisfied his curiosity, Sam nearly set the project aside, but his wife wouldn't let him. Sam later remarked, "That was the luckiest ten minutes of nagging in my life."
It took years of meticulous experimentation, but by 1985, Sam and Cherrie were selling the first SAM® Splints (structural, aluminum, malleable). Today, the SAM® Splint is the most popular emergency splint in the world, favored by emergency crews, armed services, outdoor enthusiasts, and rescue teams. The SAM Splint can even be found aboard the Space Shuttle and on Himalayan expeditions.
View the History of the SAM Splint Photo Gallery