A constricting band must always be applied above the wound; that is, toward the body, and
it must be applied as close to the wound as practicable.
The best object to be used for the pad is either a pad, compress, or similar pressure object.
The pad goes under the band. Place it directly over the artery, or it will actually decrease the
pressure on the artery and allow greater flow of blood. If a constricting band placed over a
pressure object doesnt stop the bleeding, the pressure object is probably in the wrong place. If
that occurs, shift the object around until the constricting band, when tightened, controls the
bleeding. If no suitable pressure object is available, use the constricting band without it.
To apply an emergency constricting band (fig. 14-13) made from something like a
1. Wrap the material (which is a minimum of 2 inches wide) at least twice around the limb
and tie an overhand knot.
2. Place a short stick on the overhand knot and tie a square knot over it. Then twist the
stick rapidly to tighten the constricting band. The stick may be tied in place with another strip
To be effective, a constricting band must be tight enough to stop the blood flowing to the
limb. If the pressure from the constricting band is less than the arterial pressure, arterial
bleeding will continue. Also, insufficient constricting band pressure may actually increase the
amount of bleeding from the veins. So be sure to draw the constricting band tight enough to
stop the bleeding. However, dont make it any tighter than necessary.
After you have brought the bleeding under control with the constricting band, apply a
sterile compress or dressing to the wound, and fasten it in position with a bandage.
Some points to remember about using a constricting band are as follows:
Dont use a constricting band unless you cant control the bleeding by any other means.
Dont use a constricting band for bleeding from the head, face, neck, or body. Use one
only on the limbs.
Always apply a constricting band above the wound and as close to the wound as
Be sure you draw the constricting band tight enough to stop the bleeding, but dont
make it any tighter than necessary.
Dont loosen a constricting band after it has been applied.
Dont cover a constricting band with a dressing. If its necessary to cover the injured
person in some way, make sure all other people concerned with the case know about the
constricting band. Using a crayon, skin pencil, or blood, make a large T on the victims
forehead or on a medical tag attached to the wrist, and note the time the constricting band was