What Are the Best Tips for Wrapping Bandages?

Gauze pads may be used to absorb blood from a wound.
A medical professional wrapping a person's knee with an elastic bandage.
Rolled gauze can be used to protect wounds and stem bleeding.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
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An elastic bandage is often used to wrap strains and sprains to help reduce swelling and limit mobility. These are usually wrapped snugly around the injured appendage, with the edges of the bandage overlapping. Rolled gauze, on the other hand can be used to stop bleeding, and prevent micro-organisms and debris from entering an open wound. When wrapping bandages around an open wound, gauze pads should also be used, and the bandage should be wrapped a few inches (7.6 centimeters) on either side of the wound as well. Neither of these bandages should be wrapped too tight, since this can cause circulation problems.

Elastic bandages are wide stretchy strips of fabric. They can help apply compression to an injured body part. This helps reduce or prevent swelling, and they can also limit the mobility of an injured area to help promote healing. Wrapping bandages of this sort around an ice pack on an injured area can also help hold it in place.

These types of bandages are most commonly used for strains and sprains. When wrapping bandages around these types of injuries, one should start several inches away from the affected area. To begin, the bandage can then be wrapped a few times around an appendage, such as a leg or forearm. The bandage can then be wrapped with its edges overlapping in a spiral pattern. Typically, these types of bandages are not cut, but the entire bandage is used to cover the injured area and beyond.


After bandages of this sort are wrapped, they must be secured to prevent them from falling off. Usually, elastic bandages will come with something to secure them, like metal clips or Velcro®, after they have been wrapped around the injury. Safety pins or tape can also be used to secure these types of bandages.

Rolled gauze is a long strip of gauze-like material. It is typically used to help stop the bleeding in an open wound. This type of gauze is often included in many first aid kits, and it is excellent to help secure a bandage to a wound on a leg, arm, or head.

Before wrapping bandages of this sort around wounds, the bleeding should be stopped and the area must be clean. A fresh gauze pad can then be placed over the wound to help absorb any blood or discharge from the wound. To begin, the rolled gauze can be wrapped around an appendage a few times, below the wound. The bandage can then be spiral wrapped upwards, covering the wound, and extending a few inches (7.6 centimeters) beyond it. When wrapping bandages around the head, fresh gauze can be placed on the wound, and the rolled gauze can be wrapped around the circumference of the head.

Like an elastic bandage, rolled gauze should also be secured after wrapping it around an injured area. Surgical tape, or medical tape, is often used to do this. If this is not available, the bandaged can also be tied securely.

Bandages should not be wrapped so tight that they cut off an injured person's circulation. If tingling, discoloration, or numbness is present in the area, the bandage should be removed and rewrapped. As a general rule, one should be able to slide one finger between a bandage and the skin.


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