The Figure of Eight Bandage - When and How to Apply It - Bandaging for Varicose Veins

The nurse has by this time learnt to apply the simple spiral bandage round a limb and to reverse it over the thicker part when the spiral bandage will not lie straight. On coming up to a joint the bandage is applied rather differently. When the bandage reaches the elbow, for example, bend the limb and carry your bandage once round the centre of the joint to cover the sharp prominence at the back of the elbow. Now take your bandage round above the joint to to encircle the arm, and to overlap half of the previous turn of the bandage, thus forming the upper loop of the figure of eight. The bandage should now form another loop below the joint, overlapping the turn of bandage round the centre of the joint, thus forming the lower loop of the figure of eight. Add sufficient figure of eight loops to support the joint, and continue the spiral up the arm, reversing when necessary until the shoulder is reached.

Any joints can be treated in the same way by this figure of eight arrangement. For example, the ankle is bandaged by beginning over the inner ankle bone, and taking a figure of eight, the upper loop going first round the ankle and the second loop round the instep. This should be repeated several times for the sake of firmness, and the bandage is afterwards carried up the leg spiral fashion, taking care always to bandage from within outwards over the front of the limb. When the knee is reached, the bandage is carried from the inner side over the front of the knee, right round and then above the knee to form the upper loop of the eight, then down below the knee, so that the lower loop goes round the leg below the knee. Joints have to be bandaged in cases of burns, strains, or dislocations, so that it is quite necessary for the amateur nurse to know how to apply all these simple roller bandages carefully so as to support the joint. Anyone suffering from varicose veins, also, should have the leg bandaged up from the ankle to the knee, or higher if necessary. The best bandage for this purpose is a crepe bandage which is light and yet does not give or stretch unduly. A strain of the ankle should also be treated by a figure of eight bandage, which will very much relieve the pain and feeling of weakness.