Image: Applying a pressure immobilisation bandage
Applying a pressure immobilisation bandage.
- © Australian Museum
Pressure bandages slow down the movement of venom into the bloodstream, which reduces the effect of the nerve toxins in the venom. Pressure bandages should only be used for funnel-web or mouse spider bites. When the spider bites someone, the venom is injected into the tissue under the skin. A pressure bandage slows down the movement of both tissue fluid and blood near the surface. This prevents the venom from rapidly reaching the bloodstream and is very effective treatment as long as the patient is kept still.
Five steps to applying a pressure immobilisation bandage
- Wind the bandage around the bitten arm or leg, starting from the bite. The bandage should not be so tight that it restricts blood flow.
- Wrap the entire limb, then apply a splint to prevent movement.
- Keep the victim as still as possible.
- Do not remove the bandage.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.