For the purpose of holding dressings of all kinds in place, to obtain compression, to give support, or correct deformities, and finally, to immobilize splints, we use layers of cheese cloth, cotton flannel, rubber or other material which we call bandages.
To further increase their usefulness we either apply certain substances after the bandage has been put on or we may apply the same substances in the bandage material and hardening will occur in the meshes of the bandage. These materials are plaster of paris, starch, glucose or silicate of sodium.
The Hand. The ordinary handkerchief bandage is often used to temporarily hold dressings in place when the roller bandage is not available. By folding a linen or silk handkerchief on a line from one corner to the opposite diagonal and then folding twice more we obtain with a large handkerchief a bandage that will be from four to five inches wide. Place the hand, palm downward, in the middle of the bandage, carry the ends overland cross them on the back of the hand, then around the wrist and tie in a square knot (see Fig. 1).
For finger and hand bandaging take a roller bandage varying in width from one inch to three inches wide and five yards long. After the dressing has been applied take two or three turns around the finger to hold the bandage from slipping, then from left to right making the distances neat and even, carry the roll around the finger.
The figure of eight, which has the advantage of giving better compression is made by carrying, the bandage away from the person applying it on the upper stroke, then around the hand and toward the person on the down stroke, making the crossing point in the middle of finger, as illustrated, and having each crossing point one half inch higher up than the one preceding (see Figures 2 and 3).
Wrist and Forearm. A two or three inch width bandage is needed. Begin with a couple of turns around the wrist, then down over the back of the band to make a beginning at about the junction of the fingers with the flat of the hand. Use the figure eight up to the beginning of the wrist, then three or four circular turns, then the figure of eight again up to the elbow and if necessary to bandage the elbow, carry the roll directly over the point of the elbow, then the next turn just above and the following one just below. Continue until the elbow is covered in and then begin the figure eight style above the elbow. (see Figures 4, 5 and 6).
Leg. For the leg at any point, begin with the circular for two or three turns and continue with the figure of eight.
Head. Use two bandages, carrying the first one several times around the head just above the ears, and then catching the other bandage each time, which is being carried over the top of the head at right angles to the first (see Figures 8 and 8a).
Figures 9, 10 and 11 explain themselves in illustrating the use of one or two handkerchiefs when used for bandages.
Jaw. The jaw should be bandaged in the manner shown in Figure 12. It is well to catch the crossing points of the bandage on either side with a safety pin or with needle and thread.
Eyes. A handkerchief or roller bandage will act equally well for bandaging the eye (see Figure 13).
Foot, Calf, Knee and Thigh. The bandaging of the foot and leg is done precisely the same as the hand and arm. The knee is treated similarly to the elbow. The bandages of the thigh, called the "spica," is simply a pattern of the figure of eight with the loop enclosing the abdomen greatly enlarged (see Figures 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19).
Abdomen, Groin, Chest, Back, and Shoulder. The abdomen may be sustained by a handkerchief, or better, with a "swathe" about ten to twelve inches wide and pinned securely in front with safety pins (see Figure 20).
The chest and back may be swathed or bandaged with the circular turns and a short piece of bandage passed over the shoulder (suspender style) to prevent it from slipping, and pinned with safety pins as in Figures 22 and 23.
The shoulder is bandaged in a like manner as the thigh and groin (see Figure 24).
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copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071