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How to Bandage a Hand

We use our hands for almost everything we do, so having an injured appendage is, well, less than handy. Dress it now and you'll be able to handle most anything that comes your way.


  • Step 1: Clean & dress wound If the hand is bleeding, clean and dress the wound before bandaging it.
  • TIP: If the hand will be bandaged a long time, place rolled-up gauze between the fingers to keep moisture from gathering between them.
  • Step 2: Wrap around wrist With the victim's hand palm up in front of you, place the end of the bandage on the inside of the wrist and wrap it around the wrist twice.
  • Step 3: Bandage diagonally Turn the victim's hand palm down and bring the bandage diagonally across the back of the hand so its upper edge passes just below the pinky nail.
  • Step 4: Bring across fingers Bring the bandage across the ring, middle, and index fingers, making sure to leave the fingertips exposed.
  • Step 5: Complete figure 8 Bring the bandage diagonally across the palm of the hand toward the outside of the wrist, completing a figure eight around the hand.
  • Step 6: Repeat figure 8 Repeat this figure eight a few times, staggering the position of the bandage so it doesn't bunch up on each pass.
  • Step 7: Use binding clips Use the binding clips found in the bandage packaging—or apply a strip of adhesive tape—to keep the bandage in place.
  • Step 8: Check circulation To make sure you haven't impaired the victim's circulation, squeeze the tip of a finger on the bandaged hand and gauge how long it takes for its color to return. If it takes longer than 3 seconds, undo the bandage and redo it with a little more slack.
  • FACT: Including the wrist, there are 27 bones in the hand.

You Will Need

  • A 2- to 3-inch-wide bandage
  • Binding clips or adhesive tape
  • Gauze (optional)

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