We are always harping on MacGyvering (or using something for a reason other than its intended purpose). Here are just a few neat ways to do that with a simple triangular bandage (or neckerchief for that matter)! We’re not saying that these are all great uses… just that they’d probably work. Enjoy!

 


  • To make a sling and swathe
  • It’s cotton, right? Fire starter!
  • Toilet paper (c’mon, you know you’d use it in a pinch!)
  • Packing a wound while applying well-aimed direct pressure
  • Tie a splint to an extremity
  • Secure a pressure dressing
  • Sling and swath for orthopedic injuries
  • Secure and dress an abdominal evisceration
  • Secure an IV bag to the casualty
  • Create a pressure infuser for IV/IO application
  • Secure patient’s arms and legs during movement and extraction
  • Used to aid the creation of a traction splint for a femur fracture
  • Improvised tourniquet using windlass
  • Endotracheal tube tie
  • Eye cover or bandage to protect patient’s eye against dust and debris
  • Secure IV catheter and tubing once established
  • Secure catheter placed after needle thoracotomy for tension pneumothorax
  • Secure and stabilize a flail chest
  • Collection bag for patient’s belongings
  • Folded, padding for head on hard surface
  • Two wrapped together creates a donut roll for depressed skull area
  • Stabilize an impaled object
  • B-U-F-F finger splint
  • Secure your triage card to the patient
  • Cover for amputated extremity stump
  • Moistened and then used for a respiratory filter during rapid extraction from toxic exposure
  • Folded, bite block when ET tube is in place
  • Secure cold or hot pact to casualty
  • Wrapped around a sprained or strained joint for added support
  • Small torn pieces placed in ears to protect against constant load noise
  • Small torn pieces used as gauze for dental abscess
  • Subdue medic’s exam light
  • Secure wound avulsion in place
  • Cover burn wound site
  • Head wrap to help slow casualty hypothermia
  • Moistened and used to wrap or protect salvageable amputated body part
  • Narrow torn strip wrapped around scalpel blade for surgical cricothyroidotomy
  • Hang IV bag from elevated fixed object
  • Tie fentanyl “lollipop” to patient’s finger ;-)
  • Tied to fixed elevated object and extremity for sustained elevation
  • Saturated with water, it can be used to cool an overheated patient
  • Clean and prep chest for occlusive dressing application
  • Corner of material for removal of debris in eye
  • Packing for nosebleed
  • Secure or restrain combative casualty
  • Strap repair
  • Ties for improvised litter
  • Protect yourself from vomitus during CPR (if you don’t have a mask)
  • Wind and dust bandanna
  • Padding for splints
  • Clavicle splint
  • Shade from a hot sun
  • Placed over a water bottle, it can serve as a filter (just the big stuff though, obviously)
  • When unraveled, attach it to a fishhook or safety pin to a little fishing

 


Okay, that should get you started. Got any more?!