5-15. APPLYING A PRESSURE DRESSING
If blood continues to seep from the dressing after you have secured the field first
aid dressing, applied manual pressure, and elevated the wound (if applicable), apply a
pressure dressing. Keep the injured extremity elevated while applying the pressure
a. Place a wad of padding on top of the dressing and directly over the wound
(figure 5-10 A). The wad can be made from a folded muslin bandage (cravat), a rag,
material torn from clothing, or other material that can be folded several times.
b. Place a cravat over the wad of padding (figure 5-10 B) and wrap the cravat
tightly around the limb, covering the field dressing (figure 5-10 C).
(1) The cravat can be made from a muslin bandage or material torn and
folded into a cravat (see figure 5-11). Other materials such as a handkerchief, sock, or
strip of cloth torn from a shirt can also be used.
(2) Wire and narrow material, such as a shoestring, are not used since they
are likely to damage blood vessels and nerve tissue.
c. Tie the ends of the cravat in a nonslip knot to secure the wad of padding
(figure 5-10 D). Tie the nonslip knot directly over the wound. The cravat should be tight
enough so only the tip of one finger can be inserted under the cravat. Do not tie the
cravat so tight that it cuts off blood circulation. The pressure on the wad of dressing
helps collapse the blood vessels and control the bleeding.
d. Check the circulation below the pressure dressing. If the skin below the
pressure dressing becomes cool to the touch, bluish, or numb, or if the pulse below the
pressure dressing is no longer present, the pressure dressing may be too tight. If
circulation is impaired, loosen and retie the cravat. If circulation is not restored,
evacuate the casualty as soon as possible.
The pressure dressing can be loosened and retied without disturbing the
blood clot forming under the field dressing.]
e. Apply manual pressure over the pressure dressing while keeping the limb
(1) If the pressure dressing controls the bleeding, proceed to check the
casualty for other injuries.
Check the distal end of wounded extremity (fingers or toes) periodically for
adequate circulation. The pressure dressing must be loosened and
reapplied if the area below the dressing becomes cool, blue, or numb. If
circulation is not restored, evacuate the casualty as soon as possible.