2-14. APPLY A PRESSURE DRESSING
If blood continues to seep from the dressing on a limb after you have applied
and secured the field dressing, applied manual pressure, and elevated the wound (if
applicable), apply a pressure dressing. The objective of applying a pressure dressing
is to stop the bleeding, not to stop all blood circulation below the wound. (Stopping all
blood circulation would endanger the body tissue below the pressure dressing.) A
pressure dressing is usually not required unless arterial or heavy venous bleeding is
A pressure dressing is applied only to a wound on an arm or leg.
a. Prepare the Wad. Make a "wad" by folding material such as a muslin
bandage (cravat) from your aid bag, a rag, material torn from clothing, or similar
material. Fold the material several times.
b. Prepare the Bandage. The wad is secured by a bandage, usually a cravat
made from a muslin bandage or similar material. Other materials such as a
handkerchief, sock, or strip of cloth torn from a shirt can also be used. Wire and
narrow material (such as a shoestring) should not used since they are likely to damage
blood vessels and nerve tissue. Cravats can be made from a muslin bandage or from
a square of material about three feet on each side in the following manner.
(1) Fold the square of material along the diagonal (figure 2-11 A)
and cut the material in half (figure 2-11 B). You now have two triangular bandages.
One triangular bandage is used for the pressure dressing. The remaining triangular
bandage can be used to make the tourniquet band, if needed, or used as a sling,
swathe, or additional securing bandage.
(2) Fold the top (apex) of the triangular bandage so it touches the base
(cut diagonal) of the triangular bandage (figure 2-11 C). This is a one-fold cravat.
Fold the material two more times (figures 2-11 D and E).