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How to bandage a sprain

If someone’s sprained a joint, like an ankle, knee or elbow, you can use a bandage to support the limb.

To make sure you give the right kind of support, bend the joint slightly and then wrap the bandage in a figure-of-eight. You need to wrap it either side of the injury too, to give enough support for the whole area.

(For this example we’re going to describe how to wrap an ankle, but you can use the same method to bandage an elbow or knee).

Watch our video - how to bandage a sprain

What you need to do

• To bandage someone’s ankle, use a roller bandage

• First, you need to hold the ankle in a comfortable position, with the joint slightly bent

• Start by putting the end (tail) of the bandage on the inside of their ankle. Pass the bandage over and around to the outside of the ankle, and go round one and-a-half times, so that the tail end of the bandage is firmly covered and won’t come loose

• Then make a figure-of-eight around the joint, wrapping the bandage diagonally above and then below the joint

• Keep going with the 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

• Once you’ve done this several times, wrap the bandage straight around the ankle a couple of times, and then fasten the end using a safety pin, sticky tape or by tucking it in

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

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