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Invented by an Israeli military medic, Bernard Bar-Natan, The Emergency Bandage, nicknamed "Israeli bandage" by US and other nations' militaries, is nothing short of a revolution in pre-hospital trauma treatment.

Originally developed in response to the observation that bandages made in 1988 were identical to those made in 1938, it took several years of trials and a lot of hard selling to even see initial use in limited areas - initially, only one distributor was even willing to carry them as a novelty. After the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, "izzy bandages" have skyrocketed in popularity with military, police, and civilian users - the four man shop now produces 2,000,000 bandages per year.

They consist of a non-stick gauze dressing sewn onto an elastic bandage, with a plastic pressure clip integrated into the bandage to allow for one-handed application of pressure and closure of the bandage. This is a vast improvement to the training given with conventional bandages - "find a rock and put it on top of the dressing, under the bandage, to increase direct pressure on the wound".

Application is simple, once you know how. You put the dressing on the wound, and wrap the bandage around once, slipping the bandage into the slot on the clip. Then, you reverse the direction of wrap and pull snugly, while continuing to wrap until you run out of bandage. There is a plastic bar on the end of the bandage that, when directed through the plastic clip, will not come loose without significant finagling - definitely not accidentally.

The Emergency Bandage and its work-alikes, such as the Olaes Modular Bandage, combine dressing, bandage, and direct pressure into one easily operable package. Deaths due to blood loss since the introduction of the izzy bandage have decreased significantly, as it has allowed for efficient, immediate treatment versus dragging bleeding troops back to field hospitals, or relying on expert care from corpsmen or combat medics who may be spread thin.

The izzy bandage saw notable recent use in the 2011 Tucson shootings, where they were deployed by SWAT medics as a first response for wounded bystanders.




"The Guy with the Bandage", Jerusalem Post, 04/29/2011
Pressure Applied by the Emergency/Israeli Bandage, Military Medicine 174