Bandage application

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Proper bandage application is essential when caring for various injuries and wounds. It is important that you are familiar on how to correctly apply one in case a family member or friend is wounded.

Vital points in bandage application

  • Make sure that the individual is comfortable and inform him/her what you are doing.
  • You have to work from the side of the injury so that you no longer need to lean across the body of the individual.
  • The injured part of the body should be supported in a position it will be when the bandage is on.
  • Choose the right size since different parts of the body need different widths.
  • If possible, do not cover the toes or fingers when a limb is being bandaged so that you can readily check the circulation.
  • Apply the bandage in a firm manner, but not too close and fasten the end by bending it over and securing a knot. A safety pin, bandage clip or an adhesive tape can also be used if on hand.
  • Once the bandage is in place, ask the individual if it feels constricted and assess the circulation by pressing on a fingernail or piece of skin until it becomes pale. In case the color does not return right away, the bandage might be too tight, thus it should be loosened. Remember that the limbs might swell up after an injury, thus you have to check the circulation every 10 minutes after the bandage is placed.

Types of bandages

Roller bandages

There are 3 types of roller bandages:

  • Made out of open-weave material to promote proper ventilation but do not place any pressure on the wound and could not support the joints.
  • Crepe bandages provide firm support to damaged joints.
  • Elasticized type can mold into the affected body shape and used to secure dressings and provide support to soft tissue injuries.

Roller bandage application

  • Keep the rolled part above the injury and the unrolled part below the injury
  • Start by covering twice over the injury site to secure the end in its proper position
  • Go up the limb, rolling the bandage in spiral turns to ensure that every new layer covers one-third to two-thirds of the previous layer.
  • Finish by wrapping around once more and securing the end.

Tubular bandages

These are utilized to hold dressings on toes or fingers or support damaged joints. Most are made out of seamless fabric tube.

Before a tubular type is placed over an injury, it should be cut into a smaller size. Some bandages include a special device that is placed over the damaged body part to help with the application.

Triangular bandages

These are used as large dressings, slings to support a limb or to secure a dressing in place. If it is used to support a large dressing or lower limb, fold in half horizontally so that the point of the triangle touches the center of the long edge. Fold in half again in the same direction to create a broad strip.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on bandage application is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage bone, muscle and joint injuries with bandage application, register for a first aid and CPR course with one of our training providers.

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