18 March 2015

How to bandage an arm

By nonfictioness

Bandaging an arm is a properly useful skill to have and frankly, as a mother of three, I am slightly ashamed to say my first aid skills thus far have only stretched to retrieving a pea from a nostril (twice!). So I think knowing how to correctly bandage an arm will be a good addition to my armoury.

Thankfully none of the family currently has an injured arm, but then I think it best to practice such a skill on an uninjured person first so the technique is consigned to the memory banks and can be swiftly put into action should an emergency arise.

I managed to persuade my long-suffering husband Andy to be my guinea pig in exchange for the promise of some wine.bandagesx600

I sourced a couple of rolls of bandages from a chemist as on reading the instructions it seemed quite a length of bandage was required to effectively mummify a whole arm.

I’ll admit I had to read the instructions (taken from Cassell’s Home Encyclopedia, 1934) a few times before I could begin and ended up getting Andy to read it aloud to me as I started, but once I actually began wrapping the bandage around the hand it made good sense:

With the arm and hand palm downwards, the bandage is laid across the back of the wrist, the free end towards the patient’s body, and kept in position by the operator’s free hand. The roll is then carried across the back of the hand from thumb side to little finger side, around the outer side, across under the palm, up through the angle between the thumb and first finger, over the back of the hand, around the wrist and again over the back of the hand from the thumb side towards the little finger side.’

This first step created a pretty good and secure hand bandage, covering the palm and wrist and by pulling the bandage quite tight it did not need any pins, I just needed to make sure the end was tucked in.bandage3

Once this initial hand bandage had been applied all that was left was to spiral the bandage up the arm:

Two or three of these figure of eight loops will cover the hand. A spiral bandage is then continued up the arm, the spiral being reversed when necessary. At the elbow a return may be made to the figure of eight turns, similar to those described above.’

I ran out of bandage at about elbow level so tucked in the ends and started a new roll, which naturally created a bit of a gap for the bent elbow to poke out.

I was quite proud of my bandaging skills and Andy said it was most comfortable. Seeing as he was being so obliging I made him keep the bandage on for the rest of the evening and he successfully managed to eat dinner, drink a number of glasses of wine and operate the remote control for the television.

winebandagesx600The bandage was still mostly intact by the end of the evening, requiring just a bit of re-tucking where the elbow joined.

I now feel confident that I could apply a hand, wrist or full arm bandage in the event of an actual accident, so I am rather pleased with this new skill!