When it comes to first aid, there are two main types of bandages. The first are roller bandages, which are typically used for holding a dressing in place. The second is a triangular bandage. While triangle bandages are most often used for making slings, they are very versatile – as you can see by these many uses for a triangular bandage. A triangular bandage is made from a strong type of cloth which has been cut into a right-angle triangle. The triangle can be folded down into a “cravat.”
1. Sling (Arm Or Elevated)
This is the most common use for a triangular bandage. Note that there are different types of slings depending on the injury.
2. Head Injury
Typically, a roller bandage is used to treat head injuries. However, a triangular bandage is great for treating burns to the head as it can be left loose around the top of the head.
Be warned that treating bleeding injuries does not require a tourniquet in most cases! However recent studies have shown that early use of a tourniquet can save lives. If you really can’t stop the bleeding and a tourniquet is necessary, a triangular bandage works great.
4. Splint For Broken Legs
When a leg is broken or fractured, you need to immobilize it to prevent further injury. There are a few ways of tying a splint. One method is to tie two branches to each side of the injured leg. Another method is to roll up a blanket and put it between the legs, then tie the legs together around the blanket.
5. Eye Injuries
With eye injuries, it is important that you bandage both eyes. The reason for this is to stop your eyes from moving: if one eye moves, the injured eye will move also. In a pinch, you could use a triangular bandage (folded as a cravat) over both eyes.
6. Fractured Jaw
If SHTF and a fight breaks out, you could find yourself treating a fractured jaw. A triangular bandage is ideal for immobilizing the jaw. Start under the chin and bring the bandage up over the head. The sides of the bandage will meet above one ear and then be tied around the forehead.
7. Shoulder Injuries
When using a triangular bandage for the shoulder, it is important that you keep it fairly loose. You don’t want to cut off circulation under the armpit. A good trick is to put some padding (like a folded t-shirt) under the armpit before bandaging. This will allow you to tie the triangular bandage tighter without cutting off circulation.
8. Minor Hand Burns
You wouldn’t want to use this bandaging technique with serious burns. The burn skin would get stuck to the bandage, making it very painful to remove. For minor hand burns though, a wet triangle bandage can work very well. The wetness keeps the bandage from sticking to the wound (apply burn salve if you have it!). The bandage is kept loose so it doesn’t stick to the hand, but still protects the burn from getting dirty.