1. Use Your T-Shirt for a Pressure Dressing
Applying pressure will usually stop bleeding – a clean T-shirt comes in handy for this. Place the shirt between your hand and the wound to help protect yourself and the bleeder from each other’s germs.
Here’s the best trick: If the bleeding stops with pressure but starts back when you release it, you can make a pressure dressing so you don’t have to keep holding the T-shirt on the wound. Just tape the shirt down firmly onto the wound and continue pressing the shirt’s bulk onto the injured area.
2. Use Your T-Shirt for a Tourniquet
If a leg, arm, hand, or foot doesn’t stop bleeding even with pressure, it’s time for a tourniquet. While no makeshift solution works as well as a commercial one, a T-shirt can work if it’s an emergency.
Tear a strip that’s five inches wide and two to three feet long. Fold it until it’s about two inches wide. Wrap it above the wound, and tighten until the bleeding stops. Remember: you can’t keep a tourniquet on too long without causing severe tissue damage, so get expert help as soon as possible.
3. Use Your T-Shirt for a Wound Dressing
To help prevent infection, you need to dress most wounds. To use a T-shirt for this, find the cleanest one you can. If it’s not clean, consider boiling it in water for a few minutes and then letting it cool. Tear the T-shirt into strips wide enough to cover the wound, and fold them.
You can also wad the shirt up into a dressing. Clean the wound, especially if you won’t be able to get help for more than a couple of hours. Apply antibacterial ointment if you have it. Then tape your dressing over the wound. Look for signs of decreased circulation like cold, blue or numb toes or fingers.