Joint bleeds carry the risks of pain, long-term damage, and even disability. Wrapping a bleeding joint reduces blood flow using compression and possibly cold.
What does it involve?
There are many different techniques for wrapping joints. Be careful never to wrap a joint too tightly; be sure that the wrap does not entirely cut off circulation to the joint. If the fingers or toes become numb, cold, painful, or change color, the wrap is probably too tight.
One way to apply pressure is by wrapping an elastic bandage, such as an Ace bandage used for athletic injuries, around the joint. Using a figure-eight pattern may yield comprehensive compression from all angles.
Applying cold may help reduce bleeding, swelling, and pain. Include an ice pack or even a bag of frozen vegetables when applying the bandage. The ice pack or frozen food may be wrapped in a towel first to minimize skin discomfort. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, every two hours.
AquaWrap is a first-aid product popular with those who have hemophilia. AquaWrap can be cut to the desired length, and it stay in place once applied. It provides compression and moist cooling for approximately two hours before it needs to be rehydrated.
Wrapping a joint during a bleed can reduce swelling and pain and help prevent damage.
If you are away from home, it may be difficult to stop and apply a joint wrap.
Small children may not cooperate with having their joints wrapped.