An S bandage is a type of bandage that is shaped like an S and is used to wrap around a wound on a curved or irregular part of the body, such as the elbow, knee, or head. It is also called a conforming bandage because it conforms to the shape of the body part. An S bandage can help stop bleeding, protect the wound from infection, and reduce swelling and pain.

To apply an S bandage, you need to:

  • Clean the wound with water or antiseptic and cover it with a sterile dressing or gauze pad.
  • Hold one end of the bandage on the dressing and start wrapping it around the wound in a spiral motion, overlapping each layer by half.
  • Make sure the bandage is snug but not too tight that it cuts off circulation or causes discomfort.
  • Secure the end of the bandage with tape, clips, or pins.
  • Check the bandage regularly and change it if it becomes wet, dirty, or loose1.

Some precautions to take when using an S bandage are:

  • Do not wrap the bandage too tightly or too loosely.
  • Do not use an S bandage on a wound that is deep, large, or bleeding heavily.
  • Do not use an S bandage on a wound that shows signs of infection, such as pus, redness, warmth, or foul odor.
  • Do not use an S bandage on a wound that is caused by a bite, burn, or chemical exposure1.

You should seek medical help if:

  • The wound does not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of applying pressure with a clean cloth or bandage.
  • The wound is deeper than 1/4 inch or longer than 3/4 inch.
  • The wound has dirt or foreign objects that you cannot remove.
  • The wound is on your face, neck, chest, abdomen, or genitals.
  • The wound affects your movement or sensation.
  • You have a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or other signs of infection.
  • You have not had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years or are unsure of your vaccination status.