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One of the key things with controlling catastrophic bleeding is direct pressure. Now when you put direct pressure on with your hand, it's great you can put the pressure on, but you're not going to be able to leave it on there for a long period of time. Typically, if you're going through in an ambulance or in the back of a vehicle, trying to put your hand down on someone's bleed, and go along, is very hard. Also, the physical pressure involved to put over the cut is quite hard work.

One solution to applying direct pressure is the Air Wrap dressing. Now, this dressing is a non-sterile dressing. It comes in 4 or 6 inches in width, and it applies over the dressing. So it's applying direct pressure with the use of an air bladder. So the actual pack itself is quite simple. You can just tear down these strips. There's one in either corner, nice and easy to find. And you can open up and take the dressing out. On the actual wrapper itself, it's got instructions on how to use it. And because it's quite small and easy to use, you can use it on any limb, because it will go around. And the actual dressing itself is quite easy to work with because it's got velcro on it. So, as you're wrapping it around, the velcro will stick to each other, so even if you let go of the roll, it'll just hang there.

With the actual bladder, you'll put this over the dressing. It's got a "This side up" sticker on it which obviously that means the side that has to go up. There's a little section on the top here, which is where the air is blown in. And this is an indicator that shows when it's at its full pressure. The bulb is just where... How we put the air into it. There's a little valve on here, how you would actually drain the air out. So first off make sure the valve is closed, apply the dressing around the limb making sure it's just on firmly. Once it's fully on and in place, you can just hook the plastic connector in place. Then take the black valve, push it through the hole at the top. Once you've done that, you can then just apply pressure to it to pump up the bladder.

The whole time you're putting these on, look out for capillary refill. If the person's conscious, you're talking to them the whole time as well. They will very quickly feel the pressure putting down on the wound. Now because you're applying direct pressure at the point of the wound, this is going to be fairly painful. But once it's actually on it's going to stop the bleeding, and that's the primary reason for having these.

If you'd like more information on the Air Wrap dressing, or if you wish to buy them, they're available in our store and also we've put some PDFs that you can download on the download area of this course.