Most common use of Compression Bandage (also known as Elastic Bandage or Ace Bandage) is to apply continual pressure to a sprain or strain, which helps to reduce swelling when used with R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Problems arise when the bandage is wrapped to tightly and / or left on too long, as these actions tend to inhibit blood flow.
When used to control catastrophic, life-threatening bleeding, the compression bandage should be wrapped tight and not released until the victim is seen by a medical professional, preferably in a trauma centre. When used in this way mark the time applied on the bandage.