General Principles for the Use of Dressing and Bandage

The proper use of dressings and bandages are essential first aid skills for treating open wounds and fractures.

Basic rules for use of dressing

Dressing is any material that is applied to a wound with the aim to control bleeding and prevent possible infection. Dressings must be sterile but in emergency situations where sterile dressings are not available, any clean, soft cloth may be used as substitute for dressing.

When applying dressing, you must remember the following basic rules:

  • Use sterile or very clean materials as dressings. Avoid touching the part/s of the dressing that will directly come into contact with the wound. If possible, wash your hands with soap and water before handling the dressing but this should not delay providing emergency care. If using pre-packed dressings, grasp it from the corner of the protective pack and place over the wound.
  • Cover the entire wound and its immediate surrounding areas.
  • Control bleeding. Before applying bandage, make sure the dressing has effectively controlled the bleeding. Continue to apply dressing and manual pressure until bleeding has stopped.
  • Do not remove dressing once it has been applied to a wound. Removing the dressing may restart bleeding and even injure surrounding tissues. If bleeding continues, put new dressings on top of the blood-soaked dressings.
  • However, if bleeding persists despite bulky dressing, the bulky blood-soaked dressings may be removed to allow reestablishing of pressure.


Basic rules for use of bandage

Bandage is any material that is used to hold the dressing in place and provides pressure to the wound. Unlike dressings, bandages may not be sterile.

When applying bandage, you must remember the following basic rules:

  • Not too tight but not too loose. All dressings must be held snugly in place, but the bandage should not be too constricting that it restricts blood flow to the affected part. The bandage should hold the dressing snugly so that it does not slip or move around the wound.
  • Do not leave loose ends as they can get caught on objects when the victim moves. Common loose ends include that of tape, gauze and cloth.
  • Leave the tips of fingers and toes uncovered. The fingers and toes must be exposed, if possible, to observe changes in skin color that may indicate possible problems with circulation, as well as to allow easier neurologic assessment. Pale, pain or bluish-colored skin all indicate too tight bandage. However, if the digits are burned, they should be covered.
  • Cover all edges of the dressing to reduce possible contamination.
  • It is best to apply bandage to a large area of the extremity to ensure uniform pressure.

What are 3 types of bandages?

The three major types of bandages are: roller bandages, tubular bandages and triangular bandages.

What is the proper way to apply a roller bandage?

Secure the end of the bandage in place with a turn of the bandage. Wrap the bandage around the body part until the dressing is completely covered and the bandage extends several inches beyond the dressing. Tie or tape the bandage in place.

What are the types of bandage?

The four main types of bandages are gauze, compression, triangular and tube. The bandages made from cloth or from paper, these are exceptionally versatile.

What type of bandage is used in head injury?

If a wound only affects the forehead, put a square of sterile gauze pad over the wound. Then wrap a sterile gauze bandage around the head, “sweatband” style. Circle the head at least three times to keep the dressing underneath in place. Cut and use adhesive tape to attach the ends, or tie them with a firm knot.

What are the different types of wound dressings?

Types of Wound Dressings & When to Use Them

Gauze Sponge. Type of wound used for: All wounds

  • Gauze Bandage Roll. Type of wound used for: All wounds. …
  • Non-Adherent Pads. …
  • Non-Adherent Wet Dressings. …
  • Foam Dressings. …
  • Calcium Alginates. …
  • Hydrogel Dressings. …
  • Transparent Dressings.

What is a crepe bandage?

Medium weight Elastoplast Crepe Bandages are used as a dressing retention, keeping gauze, wound pads or sterile compresses in place over an open wound. They also naturally provide light compression, alleviating swelling.