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How to bandage a hand

You can bandage a hand to hold a dressing in place, or to support a sprained or strained wrist. If the bandage is to provide support, you need to wrap it either side of the injury too, to give enough support for the whole area.

Watch our video - how to bandage a hand

What you need to do

• To bandage someone’s hand, use a roller bandage.

• Start by putting the end (tail) of the bandage on the inside of their wrist, below the bottom of their thumb, and wrap the bandage straight around their wrist, twice.

• Then, wrap the bandage from the inside of their wrist, diagonally across the back of their hand up to the nail of their little finger, straight across underneath their fingers, and diagonally back across the back of their hand to the outside of their wrist.

• Pass the bandage under their wrist and repeat the diagonal over the back of the hand, across the fingers and back again, so the tips of their fingers are still peeking out.

• Keep going in the same way, bandaging diagonally across the hand like a figure-of-eight, but each time, only cover about two thirds of the previous layer, so that with each new layer you’re covering a third of new skin. Make sure you leave the tips of their fingers peeking out though.

• Once you’ve covered the whole hand, wrap the bandage straight around the wrist a couple of times, and then fasten the end using a safety pin or sticky tape or by tucking it in.

• As soon as you’ve finished, check their fingers for circulation, by pressing a finger nail for five seconds until it goes pale. If the colour doesn’t come back within two seconds, the bandage is too tight so you’ll need to loosen it and do it again. Their hand could keep swelling after you’ve bandaged it, so keep checking their circulation every ten minutes.

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