Bleeding is the number one killer on the battle field and it is crucial that all military personnel know basic first aid to stop bleeding in a combat zone. The use of the Chitosan bandage is one way to control serious arterial bleeding. The chitosan bandage IS NOT used for wounds with minimal to moderate bleeding and it is recommended to be used in conjunction with a tourniquet to control severe arterial bleeding.
Step 1. Hold the foil over-pouch so that the instructions can be read and the unsealed edges are at the top.
Step 2. Peel open the over-pouch by pulling the unsealed edges apart.
Step 3. Use your hand and thumb to trap the dressing between the bottom foil and the green/black polyester backing.
Step 4. Hold the dressing by the nonabsorbent green/black backing and discard the foil over-pouch.
Step 5. Apply the light-colored sponge portion directly over the wound and apply pressure to the green/black backing with your fingers.
Step 6. Maintain pressure on the bandage until the dressing adheres and the bleeding stops (usually 2 to 4 minutes). DO NOT TRY TO REPOSITION THE BANDAGE ONCE IT IS APPLIED. If the bleeding does not stop within 4 minutes, remove the chitosan bandage and apply another chitosan bandage.
Step 7. Apply a first aid dressing or cravat to secure the bandage and prevent contamination.
Step 8. Continue treating other wounds/injuries.
The chitosan bandage should only be removed by responsible medical personnel after evacuation to the next level of care. The chitosan bandage may be cut before being applied in order to better fit individual wounds. Do not let moisture from your hand come into contact with the dressing before you apply the bandage. The moisture could cause the sponge to become sticky. Once applied, Do not attempt to reposition the bandage. Do not let the bandage come into contact with the casualty's eyes. Do not apply a new chitosan bandage over an old one. Remove the old chitosan bandage so the sponge portion of the new chitosan bandage can come into contact with the blood and fluids from the wound.