NOTE: Bandaging is difficult or impossible to learn from printed materials. Practice is essential.
First Class 8B: Demonstrate bandages for injuries on the head and the upper arm
A bandage is a wrapping that will hold a dressing in place. A bandage is never applied directly
to a wound or used to stop blood flow -- those tasks are done using dressings before the bandages
When applying bandages, keep the following things in mind:
- Bandages should be snug but not tight. If they are too loose, they will fall off. If they
are too tight, they will cause pain or restrict blood flow. A bandage is too tight when it is
difficult to insert two fingers between the bandage and the victim's skin.
- Bandages must be checked frequently. Wounds swell and increase the pressure on a bandage.
If the bandage is not checked and loosened if necessary, it can cut off blood flow.
- Always tie off the bandage so the knot is easy to reach and untie. Never tie the knot over
- Bandages should never be tied around the neck, for obvious reasons.
First Aid merit badge book, page 62-63
Bandaging head injuries can be tricky. Often, head bandages will cover most of the head, just to remain
To bandage a head wound, wrap gauze in a single band all the way around the victim's head. If the
injury is on the back of the head, pass the band around the forehead or under the chin as appropriate.
Leave the victim's eyes, nose and mouth uncovered unless they are injured.
If necessary, apply a cloth bandage over the gauze to maintain pressure on the wound or provide additional
protection from contamination.
First Aid merit badge book, pages 63-64
Bandaging an arm injury is much easier than a head injury. With the dressing in place, wrap gauze
snugly and tie a knot away from the wound. Use enough gauze to protect the wound from
Check to ensure circulation has not been blocked by squeezing the victim's fingernails and watching
how fast the color returns. Compare the refill speed with fingers on the other hand. If the speed is
noticably slower, the bandage is too tight.
©2005 Sam Clippinger / samc (at) troop50 (dot) org
Last updated: 12/9/2005