M3 V01 Bandage application

In this segment we will show you application of a bandage. Regardless of the type of bandage that you use, the technique is always the same.

In general, be sure to start at the base of the toes so that you have all five toes visible and then take it all the way up the knee.

As a general rule of thumb, the bandaging should go up to the tibial tuberosity, so place your fingers to mark out a distance that is two fingers below the knee cap, which is where your bandage needs to go.

Now it is important with a compression bandage that it does go from the foot all the way up to the knee to make sure that you capture the foot muscle and the calf muscle pump. Even if it is just an ordinary crepe bandage, it still has the potential to become too tight and cause trauma. So bandaging should always go from the base of the toes up to the knee and never just around the wound area itself.

If the person has very thin legs, it is important to remember to pad and protect bony prominences over the ankle bone, the metatarsal heads, the shin bone and the tibial tuberosity. It doesn’t take very much pressure to cause significant trauma to those areas.

For this session, however, I am only showing the application of a single-layer bandage, which is using the same principals and technique you would use for any compression or any bandage at all.

So start bandaging at the base of the toes, wrapping it once around the foot to secure it.

Make sure the foot is at a 90 degree angle so that when the person is mobilising you are not getting too much pressure or tension over the tibial tendon.

Wrap it around and then just a single figure of eight around the ankle and then locking the heel in position. That actually anchors the bandage and helps to prevent slippage here.

Then take the bandage up the leg. When applying the bandage, as you can see, you have 50% of the bandage always left on the leg so you have a nice even application. The pressure that you apply with the bandage is generally about 50% stretch so when you are stretching the bandage, if this was relaxed, at 50% it is generally about half and at full stretch it is completely tight. So 50% stretch and 50% overlap. Taking it all the way up to the knee.

Then you can secure the bandage; using some paper tape is enough. Avoid using the clips that come included with many bandages as such clips have very sharp edges, which can get caught up in and underneath the bandage and result in trauma.

Another technique you can do to help prevent slippage is to tape over the tips of the toes. Never wrap the tape around the circumference of the foot because that can again create trauma. You can also tape the heel, if required.

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