These instructions will come in handy if you have an emergency and have to bandage a cut or wound.
Different types of wounds and their location on the body require different kinds of dressings and bandages. Sterile store-bought bandages are best but any clean cloth, paper products or tissue will do in and emergency. To dress a wound, you will need these items.
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- A dressing or compress such as a gauze pad, handkerchief, napkin or any other clean fabric. (Avoid cotton balls as they will stick to the wound.)
- Use a dressing that covers the entire area.
- Hold the dressing over the wound and lower it into place.
- Secure the dressing with bandage or tape, taking the ends around the opposite direction to encircle the area (wrist, arm, leg, and chest); fasten with pin, tape, or by tying off.
- The bandage securing the dressing should be snug but not tight, (if secured to tight swelling will occur.) Do not wrap the bandage completely around wounded area to prevent swelling.
- When bandaging a foot, leg, arm or hand, leave the fingers or toes exposed to check for swelling, change of temperature or color change, which indicates the bandage is too tight.
- Be especially careful not to wind too tightly when using an elastic bandage; do not use a wet gauze bandage as it will shrink as it dries and become too tight.
- For a finger or toe; Starting at the base of the finger or toe, wrap circular turns of the bandage around the finger or toe gradually working to the tip and back down to the base.
- To secure the bandage, draw the bandage diagonally across the back of the wrist or ankle, circling the wrist or ankle one or two more times, loop it around the finger or toe, and back to the wrist or ankle to tie off.
- Ankle or foot; circle the bandage around the ball of the foot a few times.
- Bring the bandage diagonally across the front of the foot and under the arch.
- Repeat to cover the foot and ankle. Tie off at the ankle.
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- Hand or wrist; Circle the bandage around the palm a few times to anchor it.
- Bring the bandage diagonally across the back of the hand and around the wrist, then back diagonally across the back of the hand to the palm.
- Repeat the figure eight and tie off at the wrist.
- Arm or leg; Place dressing on the wound and hold in place.
- Anchor the bandage by wrapping it around the limb below the wound; make spiral turns up the limb to cove the dressing.
- Secure the bandage above the wound, tying it off.
- Elbow or knee; Hold the dressing on the wound and anchor the dressing above the joint by circling the wound several times.
- Bring the bandage diagonally across the dressing, circle the limb below the joint, and then bring it back diagonally across the dressing.
- Repeat the figure eight until the area is secure, and then fasten above or below the joint.