Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Bandaging Upper and Lower Extremities

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US Army First Aid Manual
Fundamental Criteria for First Aid
Basic Measures for First Aid
First Aid for Special Wounds
First Aid for Fractures
First Aid for Climatic Injuries
First Aid for Bites and Stings
First Aid in Toxic Environments
First Aid for Psychological Reactions
Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary



Bandaging Upper and Lower Extremities

3-15. Shoulder Bandage

a. To apply bandages attached to the field first aid dressing--

    (1) Take one bandage across the chest and the other across the back and under the arm opposite the injured shoulder.

    (2) Tie the ends with a nonslip knot (Figure 3-35).

b. To apply a cravat bandage to the shoulder or armpit--

    (1) Make an extended cravat bandage by using two triangular bandages (Figure 3-36 A); place the end of the first triangular bandage along the base of the second one (Figure 3-36 B).

    (2) Fold the two bandages into a single extended bandage (Figure 3-36 C).

    (3) Fold the extended bandage into a single cravat bandage (Figure 3-36 D). After folding, secure the thicker part (overlap) with two or more safety pins (Figure 3-36 E).

    (4) Place the middle of the cravat bandage under the armpit so that the front end is longer than the back end and safety pins are on the outside (Figure 3-36 F).

    (5) Cross the ends on top of the shoulder (Figure 3-36 G).

    (6) Take one end across the back and under the arm on the opposite side and the other end across the chest. Tie the ends (Figure 3-36 H).

Be sure to place sufficient wadding in the armpit. DO NOT tie the cravat bandage too tightly. Avoid compressing the major blood vessels in the armpit.

3-16. Elbow Bandage

To apply a cravat bandage to the elbow--

a. Bend the arm at the elbow and place the middle of the cravat at the point of the elbow bringing the ends upward (Figure 3-37 A).

b. Bring the ends across, extending both downward (Figure 3-37 B).

c. Take both ends around the arm and tie them with a nonslip knot at the front of the elbow (Figure 3-37 C).

CAUTION

    If an elbow fracture is suspected, DO NOT bend the elbow; bandage it in an extended position.

3-17. Hand Bandage

a. To apply a triangular bandage to the hand--

    (1) Place the hand in the middle of the triangular bandage with the wrist at the base of the bandage (Figure 3-38 A). Ensure that the fingers are separated with absorbent material to prevent chafing and irritation of the skin.

    (2) Place the apex over the fingers and tuck any excess material into the pleats on each side of the hand (Figure 3-38 B).

    (3) Cross the ends on top of the hand, take them around the wrist, and tie them (Figures 3-38 C, D, and E) with a nonslip knot.

b. To apply a cravat bandage to the palm of the hand--

    (1) Lay the middle of the cravat over the palm of the hand with the ends hanging down on each side (Figure 3-39 A).

    (2) Take the end of the cravat at the little finger across the back of the hand, extending it upward over the base of the thumb; then bring it downward across the palm (Figure 3-39 B).

    (3) Take the thumb and across the back of the hand, over the palm, and through the hollow between the thumb and palm (Figure 3-39 C).

    (4) Take the ends to the back of the hand and cross them; then bring them up over the wrist and cross them again (Figure 3-39 D).

    (5) Bring both ends down and tie them with a nonslip knot on top of the wrist (Figure 3-39 E and F).

3-18. Leg (Upper and Lower) Bandage

To apply a cravat bandage to the leg--

a. Place the center of the cravat over the dressing (Figure 3-40 A).

b. Take one end around and up the leg in a spiral motion and the other end around and down the leg in a spiral motion, overlapping part of each preceding turn (Figure 3-40 B).

c. Bring both ends together and tie them (Figure 3-40 C) with a nonslip knot.

3-19. Knee Bandage

To apply a cravat bandage to the knee as illustrated in Figure 3-41, use the same technique applied in bandaging the elbow. The same caution for the elbow also applies to the knee.

3-20. Foot Bandage

To apply a triangular bandage to the foot--

a. Place the foot in the middle of the triangular bandage with the heel well forward of the base (Figure 3-42 A). Ensure that the toes are separated with absorbent material to prevent chafing and irritation of the skin.

b. Place the apex over the top of the foot and tuck any excess material into the pleats on each side of the foot (Figure 3-42 B).

c. Cross the ends on top of the foot, take them around the ankle, and tie them at the front of the ankle (Figure 3-42 C, D, and E).

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