UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MEDICAL FOUNDATION
CLINICAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE
TITLE: CAST CARE
Effective Date: August, 2004 Approval: See Authorization
Supersedes Protocol: None Contact: Clinical Staff Education
Reviewed April, 2005 November 2007 June 2009 October 2011
PURPOSE: To provide guidelines for appropriate cast care given at UWMF Clinics.
DEFINITION: Cast care is done to maintain cast integrity, proper circulation, sensation and motion of
affected body part, or to immobilize and/or support the affected area.
POLICY: The clinical staff will utilize the following guidelines to properly assist with cast care for a UWMF
SUPPLIES: Alcohol, moleskin tape, materials to elevate affected extremity
Provider’s order, Patient’s record
1. Check provider’s order and clarify any inconsistencies.
2. Wash hands and gather equipment.
3. Introduce yourself and identify the patient. Include date of birth and verify allergies to any materials to be
4. Explain procedure to the patient and answer any questions:
a. Post Casting Instructions
Take (prescribed) pain relievers for potential mild discomfort
Resume prescribed activity and date to resume weight bearing
Reposition casted extremity every 30 minutes to promote drying
Rest in a lying position (if uncomfortable)
Do not get the cast wet
Elevate extremity above heart to reduce swelling
b. General Cast Care
Wet or soiled cast. (Clean cast with damp cloth)
Prescribed care of the skin around the cast – ie: soaps, water etc.
Rub with fingertips only, do not use lotions unless prescribed
Do not remove cotton lining or use powders on the cast
Circle any drainage on cast with marker and monitor for increases
Check for circulation, sensory or motor impairment
Compare casted extremity to opposite side, noting differences
c. When to Call Clinic
Fever: temperature of greater than 100 degrees F
Increase in pain, pressure or swelling of the casted extremity
Increase in drainage or odor from the cast
Change in skin color or temperature of the casted extremity
Decrease in movement or loss of feeling in casted extremity
Large indentations or cracks in the cast
Any symptoms that are concerning to patient
5. Documentation (Progress Notes in HealthLink)
Cast care given and instructions to patient
Follow-up care, patient questions or concerns
Future appointments (if applicable).
WRITTEN BY: Ronnie Peterson, R.N., M.S., Manager of Clinical Support
REVISED BY: Carol Decker, RN, MSN, Clinical Staff Educator
REVIEWED BY: Lynn Posick, NP, Ortho/Rehab - Foot/Ankle
Kowalak, J. P. (Ed.). (2009). Lippincott’s nursing procedures (5th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2002). Clinical nursing skills & techniques. (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2009). Fundamentals of nursing. (7th ed.). Hall, A. & Stockert, P.A. (Eds.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby
Medical Director Date