How to Apply a Bandage to a Wound: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Apply a Bandage to a Wound: 10 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Apply a Bandage to a Wound: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

Bandaging a wound is a very important part of first aid. You never know when you or someone you care about is injured and needs first aid. While internal wounds that are bleeding profusely should seek immediate medical attention, most minor cuts and scrapes can be treated and bandaged at home. Once you've managed to stop the bleeding and clean the wound, dressing the wound with a bandage is actually quite easy to do.


Part 1 of 2: Cleaning Wounds

Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 1
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 1

Step 1. Know when the wound should seek immediate medical attention

While most minor wounds can be treated with a bandage, and most moderate superficial wounds can be covered with bandages and medical tape, some serious injuries may be too serious to treat at home. For example, a skin wound accompanied by a broken bone should receive immediate medical attention, as well as a serious injury to a blood vessel that does not stop bleeding. Injuries to the arms and legs that cause numbness and loss of sensation in the lower limbs should also seek immediate medical attention.

  • Heavy bleeding will make you feel weak and tired quickly (and even faint), so tell those around you that the injury is serious, or call 118 for help.
  • If there is a deep abdominal wound, your internal organs may be injured and internal bleeding, so try to go to the emergency room as soon as possible, but ask someone to help you, as you might pass out, or call an ambulance.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 2
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 2

Step 2. Control the bleeding

Before you clean and bandage the wound, try to control the flow of blood. Use a clean bandage (or any clean, absorbent cloth) to gently press the top of the wound to control bleeding. In most cases, pressure on the wound will trigger the blood to clot and the bleeding should be stopped within 20 minutes, although it may continue to flow slightly for up to 45 minutes. A bandage or cloth will also protect the wound from infection-causing bacteria. In severe cases, you can make a tourniquet out of a tie or a long piece of cloth to tie the top of the wound.

  • If heavy bleeding continues after 15-20 minutes of pressure on the wound, it may require immediate medical attention. Continue to apply pressure to the wound and go to the doctor's office, emergency room, or health center.
  • Bleeding may be difficult to control in people taking blood thinners or other illnesses. In this case, the injured person should seek immediate medical attention.
  • If available, put on sterile medical gloves before touching the wound. However, if you don't have any gloves to work with, simply wrap your hands in a protective covering such as a clean plastic bag or layers of clean cloth. Using your hands directly to press the wound is a last resort, because contact with blood can transmit infectious diseases.
  • Also, if possible, wash your hands with soap and water before coming into contact with the wound. That way, the possibility of transferring bacteria from hands to open wounds can be minimized.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 3
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 3

Step 3. Remove the object that is in the wound

If there is soil, glass, or other object stuck to the wound, try to remove it with tweezers. Clean the clamp with medical alcohol first to help prevent the transfer of bacteria and other microbes. Try not to push the clamp into the wound and make it worse.

  • If the wound was caused by a gun, don't try to pry and remove the bullet from the wound, let the doctor handle it.
  • If you have trouble removing a large object that has entered the wound, let the doctor handle it and don't have to force it. Removing large objects that entangle blood vessels in the body can actually trigger heavier bleeding.
  • Some first aid experts recommend cleaning the wound first before removing objects from it. If you notice that there is very little dust in the wound, this approach may be more appropriate for dealing with it, as cleaning the wound will most likely remove any small debris.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 4
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 4

Step 4. Remove or remove clothing from the wound

To make the wound easier to treat, once the bleeding has stopped, remove clothing and jewelry from the surface. This step should be done, so that tight clothing and jewelry do not interfere with blood flow when the wound swells. For example, if the wound is on the hand, remove the watch over the wound. If the garment cannot be removed, you can leave it hanging over the wound, or cut it off with medical scissors (ideally). For example, if the wound occurs in the thigh, remove or cut the victim's pants before attempting to clean and bandage them.

  • If you can't control the bleeding, make a tourniquet from a piece of clothing or a belt to compress the artery above the wound. However, tourniquets should only be used in life-threatening situations and for short periods of time because the body's tissues will begin to die within a few hours if they don't get blood flow.
  • After the clothes are removed so the wound can be cleaned and wrapped with a bandage, you can use it as a blanket to keep the victim warm.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 5
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 5

Step 5. Clean the wound thoroughly

Under ideal conditions, clean the wound thoroughly with saline solution for at least a few minutes until it looks clean of dirt or dust. Saline solutions are an ideal choice because they reduce the number of bacteria through rinsing and are generally sterile when purchased in a package. However, if saline solution is not available, use drinking water or tap water, but be sure to run the wound several times with it. Water in a squeeze bottle is perfect for this step, or if possible, place the wound under a running tap. Do not use hot water to clean the wound, use lukewarm or cold water only.

  • Saline solutions can be purchased commercially.
  • Some experts recommend using a mild soap, such as Ivory dishwashing liquid, to clean the wound as much as possible. However, sometimes soap can irritate injured tissue.
  • Do not let soap get into your eyes when you clean the wound around your eyes.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 6
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 6

Step 6. Clean the wound with a washcloth or other soft cloth

Wipe gently, patting the wound with a clean cloth to make sure it's clean after running the saline solution or plain water. Do not press or rub the wound too hard, just make sure all the dirt on the wound has been cleaned. Keep in mind that even gentle rubbing can cause the bleeding to reoccur, so be prepared to apply more pressure to the wound after cleaning it.

  • If so, apply an antibacterial cream to the wound surface before dressing it. Antibacterial creams or ointments such as Neosporin or Polysporin can help prevent infection. This cream will also prevent the bandage from sticking to the wound.
  • Alternatively, you can apply an antiseptic to the wound surface, such as an iodine solution, hydrogen peroxide, or colloidal silver solution (the only ones that won't sting).
  • Re-examine the wound after cleaning. Some wounds need stitches to heal properly. If you notice any of the following signs: the wound looks quite deep, the edges look jagged, and/or the bleeding doesn't stop.

Part 2 of 2: Putting a Bandage on the Wound

Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 7
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 7

Step 1. Find a suitable bandage

Choose a sterile bandage (which is still tightly wrapped) with the appropriate size for the wound. If the wound is small, a bandage (such as Hansaplast) is probably the best option to close it. However, if the wound is large enough to cover with a bandage, you will need to use a larger bandage. You may have to fold or cut the bandage so that it covers the wound. Try not to touch the bottom of the bandage where it will come into contact with the wound to reduce the risk of infection. If you don't have a adhesive bandage, have a bandage ready to attach it. Leave some bandage on each side of the wound so the tape doesn't stick to it directly.

  • If bandages and bandages are not available, use a clean cloth or cloth.
  • Applying a thin layer of antibiotic cream over the wound not only helps to prevent infection, but also prevents the bandage from sticking to the wound. The bandage that is attached to the wound has the potential to cause bleeding when removed.
  • A butterfly-shaped wound bandage (butterfly bandage) is useful for gluing the edges of the wound. If you have this tape, apply it across the wound (not covering it) and pull the edges of the wound closer to each other.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 8
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 8

Step 2. Glue the bandage and attach the shield

Use a waterproof medical tape to adhere the bandage to the skin on all sides. Make sure the tape is only attached to healthy skin. Avoid using tape or duct tape, as they can cause sores when removed from the skin. After the bandage is placed over the wound, apply a layer of flexible or elastic bandage to protect it. Be sure not to apply the elastic bandage so tightly that it interferes with blood flow to the wound or other parts of the victim's body.

  • Attach metal hooks, safety pins, or tape to keep the elastic band in place.
  • Consider putting a layer of plastic between the inner and outer bandages, as the injured area may be exposed to water. The plastic coating can also provide additional protection against bacteria and other infectious agents.
  • If the wound is on the head or face, you may need to wrap a bandage like a bandana and tie it tightly to hold it in place.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 9
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 9

Step 3. Change the bandage daily

Replacing the old bandage with a new one will keep the wound clean and promote healing. If the outer bandage is still clean and dry, you can reuse it. If your wound can be covered with a bandage, change it every day as well. If your bandage or bandage gets wet, change it immediately and don't wait until the next day. Wet bandages can trigger infection, so try to keep them clean and dry. Wet the bandage or bandage with warm water if it is difficult to remove from the newly formed scab tissue to soften the wound and make the bandage easier to remove. To prevent this problem, use a nonstick bandage if you have one.

  • Signs of a wound starting to heal include reduced inflammation and swelling, pain that begins to disappear, and the formation of scabs.
  • Most skin wounds take a few weeks to heal, but deeper wounds can take up to 1 month to fully heal.
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 10
Bandage a Wound During First Aid Step 10

Step 4. Watch for signs of infection

Even if you've tried to keep the wound dry and clean, sometimes infection can still occur. It may be because the object that hurt you is rusty or dirty, or the wound was caused by an animal or human bite. Signs of a skin infection include: worsening swelling or pain, yellowish or greenish pus, skin that is red and warm to the touch, and/or body weakness (malaise). If you notice any of these signs a few days after the injury, see a doctor immediately. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics and other treatments to fight the infection.

  • Red lines that appear around the wound may indicate an infection in the lymphatic system (the system that absorbs fluid from tissues). This infection (lymphangitis) can be life threatening, so seek immediate medical attention.
  • Consider the tetanus vaccine. Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that can occur in infected wounds, especially if caused by a dirty object puncture. If you haven't had a tetanus vaccine in the last 10 years, it's a good idea to see your doctor and complete your vaccinations.


  • Most wounds that require stitches should be treated within 6-8 hours of the incident to reduce the risk of infection. Very dirty wounds should not be sutured to avoid the risk of infection.
  • Remember that while restoration of the appearance of the skin is important, it is not a major consideration in wound care. The most important thing is to heal the wound without infection.
  • Skin wounds are more at risk of infection than stab wounds which are usually caused by sharp objects that enter the skin such as needles, nails, knives, and teeth.


  • Avoid touching the blood of an injured person so you don't get infected. Always use latex gloves if available.
  • The tetanus vaccine should be repeated every 10 years. Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that affects your nervous system. As a result, painful muscle contractions in the jaw and neck can interfere with your breathing.
  • Bleeding that is difficult to control should seek medical attention.

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