This website is not affiliated with the U.S. government or military. All proceeds from the operation of this site are donated to veteran and other charities.

Apply A Pressure Dressing


Pressure dressings aid in blood clotting and compress the open blood vessel. If bleeding continues after the application of a field dressing, manual pressure, and elevation, then a pressure dressing must be applied as follows:

a. Place a wad of padding on top of the field dressing, directly over the wound (Figure 2-35). Keep injured extremity elevated.

NOTE: Improvised bandages may be made from strips of cloth. These strips may be made from T-shirts, socks, or other garments.

b. Place an improvised dressing (or cravat, if available) over the wad of padding (Figure 2-36). Wrap the ends tightly around the injured limb, covering the previously placed field dressing (Figure 2-37).

c. Tie the ends together in a nonslip knot directly over the wound site (Figure 2-38). DO NOT tie so tightly that it has a tourniquet-like effect. If bleeding continues and all other measures have failed, or if the limb is severed, then apply a tourniquet. Use the tourniquet as a LAST RESORT. When the bleeding stops, check and treat for shock.

NOTE: Wounded extremities should be checked periodically for adequate circulation. The dressing must be loosened if the extremity becomes cool, blue or numb.

NOTE: If bleeding continues and all other measures have failed (dressing and covering wound, applying direct manual pressure, elevating limb above heart level, and applying pressure dressing maintaining limb elevation), then apply digital pressure.