WOUND CARE LEARNING CENTER
Whether you are treating a minor cut or applying aid to a serve laceration, it’s important to have first aid supplies at home. Bandages, gauze, tapes, wound dressings and wound closure strips all serve different purposes for wound care needs.
- Adhesive bandages, commonly known as “Band-Aids,” work great for minor cuts and scrapes. These are quick to apply and come in different shapes, sizes and materials for the best fit.
- Compression bandages are rolls of flexible gauze wrap that shape to whatever area of your body needs protection. They serve different functions from holding another bandage or gauze in place (cohesive bandages or tubular bandages), adding pressure or keeping a ligament in place (elastic bandages).
- Triangular bandages are cloth and can be used as a bandage or as a sling.
- Unna boots can be used for venous stasis ulcers and other venous insufficiencies of the leg. They can also be used as a supportive bandage for sprains and strains of the foot, ankle and lower leg.
Gauze comes in pads, sponges, rolls, and bandages. Some types of gauze are:
- ABD Pads or abdominal pads are a multilayered large gauze pad that is commonly used on the abdomen. ABD pads can come in sterile or waterproof such as Covidien ABD Pads.
- Gauze sponges and pads can sever many purposes from cleaning a wound to being an absorbent barrier for a wound. Sponges, such as Covidien gauze sponges, McKesson gauze pads and Dynarex gauze sponges, come in a range of sizes, like 2” x 2”, 3” x 3” and 4” x 4” and in many plys or thicknesses, from 4 to 16 ply. They also come in both sterile and non sterile.
- Island dressings are used to cover a wound and often have a non-stick pad center and adhesive outer layer, such as Telfa Island dressings and Medipore Island dressings.
- Gauze rolls are similar to compression bandages and hold other dressings in place. These are most commonly used on arms and legs.
Medical Tape or surgical tape is used to hold gauze or dressings in place. Tape comes in many different fabrics and types such as:
- Athletic tape is used to keep muscles or bones in a certain position to help prevent or alleviate pain.
- Coth tape is ideal for conditions requiring immobilization and support. Cloth tape, such as Johnson and Johnson First Aid Cloth Tape, tears easily and allows perspiration to escape.
- Paper tape is ideal for those who require a gentle adhesive because of skin issues. Paper tape, like Kendall hypoallergenic paper tape, is ideal for frequent taping and re-taping dressings where skin irritation is a concern.
- Porous tape is ideal for conditions requiring immobilization and support. Tears easily and is breathable.
- Retention Tape is used to hold bandages, catheters or tubes in place.
- Silk tape is woven and ideal for affixing dressings.
- Silicone tape is offers a secure fixation and gentle removal from skin and body hair.
- Transparent tape offers a discrete adhesive.
- Waterproof tape allows fixation without worrying about losing adhesive strength by getting wet.
Wound Dressings vary in their type and use. Wound dressings are most commonly used for certain medical conditions, serious lacerations or following a medical or surgical procedure. Talk to your doctor as to which wound dressing is best for your wound care needs.
Additional First Aid Supplies
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