The different types of bandages explained.

In a medical emergency, almost any clean linen can be used as a bandage because they are usually used as the final wrap to keep other dressings or pads in place. The exception to this is the ambulance type bandages. They are sterile but unmediated bandage with a thicker pad for severe wounds where heavy blood loss occurs. These are WOUND DRESSINGS.

In terms of regular bandages, there are three types.

Roller bandages

Triangular bandages

Tubular bandages

Roller bandages have three main variations; crepe, cohesive and Conforming.

Crepe bandages are cotton, non-elastic but have elasticity to allow the bandage to be wrapped without difficulty over different body parts. They are washable and can be re-used many times. They often have metal clips to keep them in place but safety pins or tape works just as well.

Cohesive, also called the brand name ‘Vetwrap’ they provide compression and support without sticking to the skin. A rubber-like feel and grips to itself not to skin and hair. Hi-viz and bright coloured cohesive bandages are often seen on pets as well as race horses.

Conforming Bandages have high stretch properties and are mainly used for dressing retention and to support sprains and strains.

Triangular bandages are a multi-purpose dressing more often used as a sling but can be used to immobilise limbs, as a large dressing and head wounds.

Tubular bandages are used to provide support and secure dressings. These are applied using a hoop.

Trauma bandages

An Emergency Bandage also known as the ‘Israeli bandage’ is the first in this short list because of its pedigree.

This specially designed, first-aid device was created out of pure necessity and because no bandage in the military medical kit could effectively be used to stop bleeding from catastrophic wounds caused by traumatic injuries in pre-hospital emergency situations

This bandage was invented by an Israeli military medic, Bernard Bar-Natan  and now manufactured in Israel.

The ‘Israeli bandage is an elasticated dressing with a non-adhesive bandage pad stitched in the inner side. The outer side of the bandage has a built-in pressure bar, this facilitates the medic or soldier to twist the bandage around the wound once, tuck it into the pressure bar and then change the direction of the bandage, wrapping it around the limb or body part, to create pressure on the wound. So, each time the bandage is wrapped around and hooked into the pressure bar, it remains tight, every time.

There is also a closure bar at the end of the bandage so that the end clips neatly in place and will not slip.

The pressure applicator or the pressure bar is not randomly placed on the bandage, but by design, it is placed directly over the wound. This will help to stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure.

It also allows the medic or soldier to wrap the bandage around a wound in different directions. An extremely important feature for stopping bleeding in the groin area as well as head injuries.