Types of bandages and how to apply a bandage

Not only medical workers, but also many companies always keep bandages in their first aid kits at construction sites, offices, etc. In case of emergency, we have to bandage the affected area firmly by ourselves. There are various types of bandages and ways to apply them. It is important to choose the bandage that suits your purpose and to make sure that you are able to apply the bandage correctly.

Types and features of bandages

Bandages play a variety of roles, mainly protecting wounds, supporting drugs and intravenous drip tubes, compressing to stop bleeding, and immobilizing in the event of fractures or dislocations. Therefore, there are several types of bandages, each with different features. Make sure to use them properly according to the purpose and the area where they are used.

Stretch bandage

It is a standard bandage which is thin and stretchy. It is easy to apply and does not loosen easily, and can be easily wrapped around joints and other parts of the body. It is also highly hygroscopic and breathable, and is mainly used to secure a guard over a wound or to protect a wound by providing cushioning. Because of its ability to stretch and contract, it is not used to immobilize an affected area, such as in the case of a fracture.

Elastic bandage

It is a thick, elastic bandage. It has moderate compression force and is mainly used for immobilizing or taping the affected area in the event of fractures, dislocations, sprains, etc. Unlike non-stretch bandages, elastic bandages are stretchable and can be used in areas that are difficult to immobilize, such as joints. They are often used in orthopedics and osteopathic clinics.

Non-stretch bandage

This type of bandage has no elasticity at all. It is widely used by orthopedic surgeons and osteopathic clinics, etc., mainly for immobilizing the affected area. Since there is no compression, the bandage can be applied without putting pressure on the affected area. However, because they are not elastic, it may be difficult to apply them and they may easily come undone, so some tips are required in how to apply and fasten them.

Adhesive bandage

This bandage has an adhesive on one side. Instead of wrapping and using it like a general bandage, cut and paste the necessary amount like tape. This bandage is used to secure a tube or catheter, fix gauze applied to a joint, or secure a splint in the event of a fracture.

Net bandage

A net bandage is a tube-shaped bandage that is mainly used to cover gauze or medication applied to the affected area to secure it in place. It is elastic and fits all parts of the body, including the head, joints, and shoulders, making it useful when it is difficult to wrap a standard bandage. It is also highly breathable and comfortable.

How to apply a bandage

So how exactly should we apply a bandage? There are different types of bandages, and they can be used for different purposes or in combination. Here are some of the main ways of bandaging and points to note.

How to hold the bandage

Basically, hold the bandage in your right hand and pull it out to the left for use. With the inside of the bandage you pulled out facing up, put your right thumb inside the roll and hold it with the remaining four fingers on the outside.

[How to apply a bandage]

Circular turns

The bandage should be wrapped around the same area in an overlapping manner. Wrap the bandage around the axis (arm, etc.) right next to it. When other wrapping methods are used, the beginning and end of the wrapping is often done in circular turns.

Simple spiral

It is a method to wrap a bandage in a spiral shape while overlapping 1/2 to 2/3 of the bandage. It is used to protect gauze and immobilize the splint. It is not often used for immobilization of fractures due to its tendency to slide off. It is suitable for wrapping around areas of the same thickness.

Serpentine bandage

A method in which bandages are not layered but are wrapped in a spiral pattern with gaps at regular intervals. It is used for temporary immobilization of a splint.

Spiral reverse

This is a method of wrapping the lower leg and other parts of the body that change in thickness. First, wrap the bandage around the ankle, etc., by the method of circular turns, then wrap the bandage diagonally upward, and when the previous bandage has popped out, hold down the bandage with the thumb and fold it diagonally downward. Repeat this process, shifting the bandage little by little as you wrap it.

Spica

It is a method of wrapping the bandage in a figure 8 pattern. It is used for flexed parts such as the joints of the hands, feet, and hip joints. First, wrap the bandage by the method of circular turns, and then wrap it diagonally upward. Then, wrap the back side of the band horizontally with the circular turns, and wrap it diagonally downwards. Then, wind it in a figure 8 pattern, crossing each other.

[Beginning of warpping and end of wrapping]

Beginning of wrapping

Most of the wrappings start with a ‘circular turns’. First, apply it diagonally so that the end of the bandage comes out a little,, and then wrap it horizontally in a single motion. Then, fold the tail that is sticking out and make another wrap over it. This will prevent it from slipping out of place.

End of wrapping

Most of the wrappings end in a ‘circular turns’. After wrapping the bandage in a circular motion, cut the bandage and gently fold the ends inward. Fold both sides inward to form a trapezoidal shape. Secure the bandage with a bandage clamp or tape to complete the process. If you do not have a clasp, tear the bandage and tie it in a knot.

[Points to note when wrapping a bandage]

Tightening the bandage too tightly will impede blood flow. Make sure to apply the bandage firmly, but not tightly.

Summary

If you remember the types of bandages and the proper way to wrap them, you will be able to calmly deal with the situation in case of emergency. After wrapping, do not forget to observe the affected area to check if the purpose has been achieved and to check if blood flow has been stopped.