How to Tell If a Bandage is Too Tight
IS THE BANDAGE TOO TIGHT?
It is easy to bind a bandage so tightly that it interferes with the nerves or the blood circulation. After applying a bandage, and again ten minutes later, check for these warning signals:
• The injured person has a tingling feeling in the fingers or toes, or loses feeling altogether.
• The fingers or toes are very cold.
• The injured person is unable to move the fingers or toes.
• The beds of the fingernails or toenails are unusually pale or blue.
• The pulse of an injured arm is weak compared to the other arm, or the pulse is completely absent.
If any of these danger signs occur take off the bandage and apply it again more carefully.
Putting a tubular bandage on a finger
Seamless tubular bandages are easier to put on a wound than conventional bandages because they do not need to be tied in place. They resemble stockings without feet, and they are available from chemists in various sizes to fit different parts of the body, including a finger. They are all supplied with applicator tongs which allow you to slip them on over a dressing.
1. Cut a piece of tubular bandage at least 2-1/2 times as long as the finger and push it loosely onto the applicator. Put the applicator and bandage over the finger and hold the bandage at the base of the finger.
2. Draw the applicator off the finger, together with half the bandage. Then turn the applicator completely around so that the bandage is twisted.
3. Push the tongs gently back down the finger, sliding the bandage off them as you go and leaving the finger covered with two layers of material.
How to make an emergency dressing
If you have to treat a wound without a first aid kit, you can improvise dressings and bandages.
• To make a dressing, take a clean handkerchief and turn it inside-out so that the side that was protected from dirt can be placed on the wound. If you need a larger dressing, use a clean pillowcase or towel in the same way.
• Or wind toilet paper around your fingers to make a fairly thick pad. Slide it off the fingers and put the untouched side – which was at the back of your hand – onto the wound. It will be quite sterile.
• Or strip the wrapping off a packet of paper handkerchiefs and put the whole pad on the wound.
• Do not put fluffy material such as cotton wool directly on a wound, because the fibres will stick.
• Don’t touch the surface that will be in contact with the wound. Dirt on your fingers could cause infection.
• Bandage the dressing onto the wound with any piece of reasonably clean material, such as a scarf, tie or old linen.