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Wilderness: Pressure Immobilization Technique (cont.)

Pressure Immobilization Technique

Proper application of a pressure immobilization device is critical to achieving the desired results. Applying the pressure immobilization bandage properly requires wrapping the entire affected extremity, and generating pressures between 40-70 mmHg in the upper extremity and 55-70 mmHg in the lower extremity. A practical estimation to achieve these pressure ranges is applying the bandage snug and comfortably tight, while still allowing a finger to be slipped under it. Applying the pressure immobilization bandage too loose renders it ineffective, while applying it too tight can create worsening tissue damage. Studies have shown that once this technique is learned, unfortunately there is poor retention of the skill and inappropriate application is common. After application of the pressure immobilization bandage is complete, the extremity should then be splinted and immobilized. A sling can be used to immobilize the upper extremity. The individual should then be transported to the nearest health care facility. Proper removal of the bandage should occur at the health care facility.

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