Daily Bolus of LR: Tools of the trade -Making a sling from a triangular bandage

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March 6, 2011 by dailybolusoflr

Dear all:

Please find Friday's Bolus. Sorry for the delay, but the internet at the conference hotel was a bit lacking.

You don't always have access to the commercially made items we become familiar with to help us take care of our patients. Sometimes, knowing how to make some on the fly can be useful.

A triangular bandage is a helpful item for many situations. This is a useful item to have in a first aid kit as it can function as a bandage, sling, swathe or pressure dressing. In reality, all you need is a piece of cloth about 40cm square, which you can fold into a triangle.

The following link will take you to a series of photos explaining how to make a sling with a triangular bandage. Just cut and paste….


The steps are simple:

1. Take the long end of the bandage and lay it under the arm up and down the chest with top extending over the shoulder of the uninjured arm. (reference part 1 A)
2. The “point” of the bandage will be extending past the elbow of the injured arm
3. Bring the bandage under the injured arm (which is typically held across the chest for comfort) and raise it up by bringing then end over the shoulder of the injured arm (reference part 1 B)
4. Tie the knot behind the neck, ensuring the arm is held snugly against the chest.
5. The pointed end which is loosely held around the elbow of the injured arm can be gathered and tied into a knot to ensure a more snug fit around the elbow or as shown in part 2 A, can be gathered and pinned with a safety pin.
6. Apply swathe across the chest as appropriate.


Linda Regan, MD FACEP
Program Director, Emergency Medicine Residency
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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