Figure 4-24.Four-tailed bandages.
with wounds that are likely to stick to the wound,
leave lint, or be difficult to remove.
Bandages are strips or rolls of gauze or other
materials that are used for wrapping or binding
any part of the body and to hold compresses in
place. The types of bandages that are most com-
monly used are the roller bandage and the
triangular bandage that can be used to make the
Barton bandage and the cravat bandage.
The roller bandage, shown in figure 4-23, con-
sists of a long strip of material (usually gauze,
muslin, or elastic) that is wound into a cylindrical
shape. Roller bandages come in various widths
and lengths. Most of the roller bandages in the
first aid kits have been sterilized, so pieces may
be cut off and used as compresses in direct con-
tact with wounds. If you use a piece of roller ban-
dage in this manner, you must be careful not to
touch it with your hands or with any other
A piece of roller bandage maybe used to make
a four-tailed bandage. This is done by splitting
the cloth from each end, leaving as large a center
area as necessary. Figure 4-24A shows a bandage
of this kind. The four-tailed bandage is often used
to hold a compress on the chin, as shown in figure
4-24B, or on the nose, as shown in figure 4-24C.
It is good for bandaging any protruding part of
the body, because the center portion of the ban-
dage forms a smoothly fitting pocket when the
tails are crossed over.
In applying a roller bandage, hold the roll in
the right hand so that the loose end is on the bot-
tom; the outside surface of the loose or initial end
is next applied to and held on the body part by
the left hand. The roll is then passed around the
body part by the right hand, which controls the
tension and application of the bandage. Two or
three of the initial turns of a roller bandage should
overlie each other to secure the bandage and to
keep it in place (see figure 4-25).
In applying the turns of the bandage, it is often
necessary to transfer the roll from one hand to
the other. Bandages should be applied evenly,
firmly, but not too tightly. Excessive pressure may
cause interference with the circulation and may
lead to disastrous consequences. In bandaging an
extremity, it is advisable to leave the fingers or
toes exposed so the circulation of these parts may
be readily observed. It is likewise safer to apply
a large number of turns of a bandage, rather than
to depend upon a few turns applied too firmly
t o s e c u r e a c o m p r e s s.
In applying a wet bandage, or one that may
become wet, you must allow for shrinkage. The
turns of a bandage should completely cover the
skin, as any uncovered areas of skin may become
Figure 4-25.Applying a roller bandage.