(aka The Israeli Bandage)
Let’s start off with a little history of bandages. From the civil war up until the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, bandages had not changed much for the military or civilian healthcare. What we utilized was a 4x7 inch gauze pad that had two long cotton tails to tie the pad over a bleeding wound. Now, I’m not going to pull any punches here, but that dressing was damn near useless.
It used to drive me absolutely crazy that uncontrolled hemorrhage was the biggest cause of battlefield deaths…..but we had a completely useless bandage to work with. I learned very quickly when working with real tissue, real blood, on a real casualty…..that bandage was not the answer.
To stop bleeding, we need two things: compression, or direct pressure. This bandage did not provide compression or direct pressure. The absolute best you could do was try and tie it as tightly as possible, and hope that it maintained its position over the bleeder. If it continued to bleed, we were told to apply a compression dressing with wadded up gauze and a cravat tied very tightly. I cannot tell you how many times we would have training exercises where we would apply one of these on an arm or leg, and during evacuation it would migrate from its position over the wound, leaving the wound open again. I cannot even begin to impress upon you just how much I hated that dressing.
To offset the shortcomings of the 4x7 Field Dressing, we would carry a 6 inch ACE Wrap to apply circumferential compression over the already applied Field Dressing. This was a definite step in the right direction, but there was still a lot of room for improvement in fielding a useful bandage.
The Israeli Bandage came to the attention of the medical community and immediately was an instant success. Everybody loved it. Here we had a bandage that could be applied quickly and with instant direct pressure over the wound. It would also apply circumferential pressure with the elastic tails.
With the onset of the recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Muslim countries; the name of the bandage had to be changed to The Emergency Bandage. Most of these countries didn’t want to use a bandage named after Israel…..go figure, right? I don’t care what you call it, the thing works extremely well.
I carry a bunch of them in my various bags.
► My Individual First Aid Kit has two
► My vehicle trauma bag has six
► My home trauma bag has six
There are lots of ways to skin a cat. You can stop hemorrhage with a tourniquet. You can stop it with a bunch of gauze and an ACE wrap to apply compression over the wound. But if you want to apply immediate direct pressure and circumferential compression, the Emergency Bandage is what you should be reaching for in your bag.
Buy several of these bandages for your trauma kit and also a couple just to train with. You want to practice with these from time to time to keep yourself trained up on the various techniques depending on what part of the body is hemorrhaging. I have multiple videos showing how to apply the Emergency Bandage to various parts of the body. Check them out and remember: Most trauma deaths occur from hemorrhage. This is where you should spend a lot of time training.
“Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can’t get it wrong”
Patrick O’Neil, PA