After you have exposed the wound and positioned any protruding organ, apply a dressing to the wound to help absorb the blood and protect the wound from additional contamination from the environment.

If the injury is small, a field dressing is used. If the injury is large, an abdominal (ABD) dressing should be used. If an abdominal pad is not available, use an improvised dressing made from the cleanest materials available.

a. Obtain a Dressing.

If the wound is small enough so only a field dressing is needed and the soldier still has a field dressing in his plastic individual first aid case, use his field dressing in order to conserve your supplies. If he does not have a field dressing available or if a larger dressing is needed, use a dressing from your aid bag.

b. Open the Plastic Dressing Envelope.

(1) Use the bandage scissors from your aid bag to cut open the plastic envelope.

(2) Remove the inner packet (abdominal dressing or field dressing wrapped in paper) and place the packet where it will not become contaminated.

(3) Cut the other edges of the plastic envelope so the inside (sterile side) of the envelope can be applied to the wound. Avoid touching the inside surface of the plastic envelope and keep the inner surface as free from contamination as possible. Cut the envelope so as to not waste surface area needed to cover the wound.

c. Apply the Plastic Envelope.

Place the envelope (sterile inner side down) over the wound and any protruding organ. The plastic will help to keep the eviscerated organ and other tissues from loosing moisture.

NOTE: Do not apply a plastic wrapper if it is contaminated or not large enough to cover the wound area.]

d. Apply the Dressing to the Wound Area.

Open the paper-wrapped packet, remove the dressing from the paper wrapper, open the dressing, and place the white, sterile dressing pad over the plastic envelope. Avoid touching the sterile part of the dressing.

(1) If a plastic envelope was not applied to the wound, apply the dressing on top of the wound.

(2) If an eviscerated organ is present, cover the wound and the organ. Apply a second dressing or improvised dressing, if needed.

(3) If an object is protruding from the wound, dress the wound. Then improvise bulky dressings from the cleanest material available and build up the area around the object to stabilize the object. Do not cover the protruding object.

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