Triangular Bandage Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Making a Triangular Bandage

Woman with Broken Arm

Dressings and bandages come in handy when it comes to minor wounds, fractures, and other injuries, and therefore, should always be a part of your first-aid kit or bag.

There are various types of bandages. Each type of bandage serves its own purpose. Depending on placement and depth of injury, each wound requires a specific bandage.

Some bandages do more than cover the wound. They could also be used as a form of support for a limb, a bone, or a joint. These are called triangular bandages.

Not all accidents require medical attention and emergency help, but in the event of severe emergency wounds, a private ambulance service can largely prevent a wound from worsening.

In some cases, a triangular bandage and proper first-aid treatment are all it takes to care for a wound.

You can also learn how to make a triangular bandage with our standard first aid courses.

What is Triangular Bandage

A triangular bandage, also known as a triangular sling, is usually made of cotton or muslin cloth. These bandages are very versatile and efficient. These can be folded into a sling or can be used to provide the necessary pressure to a wound that is bleeding.

Triangular bandages are a first-aid essential and should always be present inside your first-aid kit in the prescribed amount and condition.

Not all accidents require medical attention and emergency help. In some cases, a triangular bandage is all it takes to care for a wound.

 

Parts of Triangular Bandage

To be able to learn how to use a triangular bandage with ease, you must first know its parts.

A triangular bandage has 3 parts: the base, the point, and the ends.

  • Base – this is the longest part of the triangular bandage
  • Point – this is the corner that is directly opposite to the middle of the base
  • Ends – the remaining two corners

Knowing these parts will help you fold the triangular bandage according to how you need to use it.

Types of Triangular Bandage

Triangular bandages can be classified into various types depending on how these will be used. The types can be in the form of the following:

  • Sling
    The triangular bandage is used in the open form to serve as a sling to provide support to an upper-body injury like a shoulder or elbow fracture.
  • Broad-fold bandage
    The triangular bandage is used as a broad-fold bandage with the point folded down to the base twice to provide support to a lower-body injury like a knee fracture.
  • Narrow-fold bandage
    The triangular bandage is used as a narrow-fold bandage where the broad-fold bandage is folded in half to suppress the bleeding and provide support to a lower limb injury. A narrow-fold bandage can also be used as a collar-and-cuff sling for upper body injuries.
  • Pad
    The triangular bandage is used as a folded pad once the ends of the narrow-fold bandage have been brought into the centre thrice for use as dressing on major wounds.

Triangular Bandage Uses

The triangular bandage is a versatile bandage. It offers a variety of uses. It is an excellent choice for keeping injured body parts like shoulders and arms in a stationary position. It can be used as an arm sling, an elevation sling, or as a collar-and-cuff sling among a lot of other uses. It provides outstanding support when it comes to maintaining compressions for a head wound. It can also be used as a splint for broken bones, or just to hold the gauze in place, or to apply pressure on a bleeding wound.

Below is a comprehensive list of the uses of a triangular bandage.

  • Sling (Arm or Elevation)
    A triangular bandage is commonly used as a sling. It can be turned into an arm sling to support injuries on a lower arm or a hand. An arm sling can also be used for fractures sustained on the ribs or the collarbones. Similarly, a triangular bandage can be turned into an elevation sling for use on arm or finger injuries, where the area injured needs to remain in an elevated position.
  • Bandage for head injuries
    While a roller bandage is more commonly used in addressing head injuries, a triangular bandage can also be used in its place. A triangular bandage provides a more loose option for the area around the top of the head.
  • Bandage for sprained ankle
    A triangular bandage also works well when treating sprained ankles.
  • Tourniquet
    For bleeding wounds that cannot be suppressed, a triangular bandage works as a great tourniquet.
  • Bleeding wounds
    For serious bleeding wounds, a triangular bandage can be used like a trauma pad to apply pressure on the wound.
  • Splint for broken legs
    There are various ways to use a triangular bandage as a splint to keep a broken or fractured leg stationary against further injury.
  • Bandage for eye injuries
    A triangular bandage is ideal when it comes to eye injuries. Since both eyes need to get bandages regardless of whether only one eye sustains an injury, a triangular bandage can provide enough coverage for both eyes.
  • Bandage for fractured jaw
    A triangular bandage is ideal for keeping a fractured jaw in place.
  • Bandage for shoulder injuries
    A triangular bandage can also be used in case of shoulder injuries. Just make sure to keep the bandage loose so that blood circulation under the armpit is maintained.
  • Hip wrap
    A triangular bandage is ideal when it comes to hip injuries.
  • Minor hand burns
    A triangular bandage offers an alternative option for wrapping minor hand burns. When doing so, make sure that the bandage is loose enough to inhibit the cloth from sticking to the wound.

How to Fold/Tie a Triangular Bandage

Depending on how you’re going to use it, there are various ways to fold a triangular bandage. Here are the most common uses of a triangular bandage and how to use it accordingly.

As an arm sling

  • Ask the patient to hold the injured arm across their body in a position that is comfortable for them.
  • Hold the bandage so that the base is running down the centre of the body and that the point is on the elbow on the injured side.
  • Slip the top point gently under the supported arm. Then, wrap it around the back of the neck so that it rests on the shoulder of the affected side.
  • Bring the lower point up and take it to meet the upper point at the affected side of the neck.
  • Use a reef knot to secure the ends together by the area just above the collarbone. Doing so prevents any pressure on the back of the neck.
  • Adjust the sling to make the fingertips visible. Bring the point forward and use a safety pin to fasten it to the sling.
  • Check the circulation in the fingers. Do this by comparing the tissue colour with the fingertips on the uninjured arm. If signs of impaired circulation are noticeable, loosen the sling.

As an elevation sling

  • Ask the patient to hold the injured arm across the body with their fingers pointing to the opposite shoulder tip. Make sure that they are holding this in a position that is comfortable for them.
  • Hold the bandage so that the base is running down the centre of the body and that the point is on the elbow on the injured side.
  • Place the bandage gently over the supported arm. Then, bring the top end around the front of the neck so that it rests on the unaffected shoulder.
  • Wrap the lower half of the bandage gently around the affected side. Bring the free end of the bandage from the elbow across the back to the opposite shoulder tip.
  • Twist the top point of the bandage around the fingers but make sure to do it gently so that there is no pressure applied on the injury that could worsen its condition. Tie the two ends with the use of a reef knot, and place it just above the collarbone to prevent causing pressure on the neck.
  • Smooth out the loose fabric from the point of the elbow along the arm under the sling. Fasten the sling at the elbow using a safety pin or tape.

As a collar-and-cuff sling

  • Create a clove hitch with two large loops of the bandage. One loop is made by bringing one end of the bandage pointed upwards with the other end pointed downwards.
  • Fold the two loops inwards to the middle, making sure that both ends are trapped between the loops.
  • Ask the patient to hold their injured arm across the body with their fingers pointing to the opposite shoulder tip. Carefully slide the two loops over the hand and lower arm with the ends hanging downwards.
  • Bring the bandage ends up on either side of the limb and around the patient’s neck. Make sure to adjust the bandage so you can use a reef knot for tying it just above one side of the collarbone, preventing any pressure on the neck.
  • The knot can be placed on either side of the neck, depending on where the injury is located and which position offers the best comfort to the patient.

As a head bandage

  • Fold back about 2 inches of the to create a hem. Put the middle of the base on the forehead, a little above the eyebrows. Make sure the hem is on the outside. Allow the point to fall over the head and down at the back of the head, over the ears, cross them over the point, bring them around the forehead, and tie in a square knot.
  • Firmly hold the compress using one hand, while the other hand gently pulls down the point until the compress is settled nicely.
    Bring the point up and tuck it in the bandage where it crosses the back part of the head.

As a chest bandage

  • Cut or make a 10-inch tear at the point perpendicular to the base. Loosely tie the two points around the patient’s neck, letting the base drape down over the compress on the injured side.
  • Fold the base down to the desired width. Carry the ends around the chest, and tie on the opposite side of the unaffected area.

Where to Buy Triangular Bandage

In Singapore, you can easily purchase a triangular bandage from any pharmacy. You can also purchase in bulk from medical supplies distributors for use by companies in the workplace.

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