How To Use Gauze: A First Aid Guide
We've all experienced having wounds, cuts, and scrapes in our body, and taking care of them can be a bit of a challenge, especially if we don't know the basics. We need to be sure that they are well-cleaned and treated to prevent any infection. A lot of questions come to mind when it comes to taking care of wounds, and one of them is how to use gauze.
Gauze can be used for cleaning, scrubbing, securing, or covering a wound. It is a piece of fabric that has so many types and uses, and we often use gauze or wound care. In using gauzes, it is vital that wounds or cuts are kept clean, and the best way to go is by using sterile medical supplies. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to use gauze so you can treat and take care of your wounds correctly.
Types of Gauze
Gauze offers a different variety of options - woven or nonwoven, sterile or nonsterile. There are available in different shapes, sizes, and even thickness.
Woven and Nonwoven
Woven gauze has loose open weaves, which absorb the fluid from the wound and into the fibers. The free pattern helps absorb the wound fluid that passes through the gauze. Absorbent dressings such as gauze pads or sponges then absorb the liquid.
On the other hand, nonwoven gauze is made of fibers that look like a weave but are not woven. They are pressed and condensed together. This tight pattern helps the nonwoven gauze to absorb more fluid from the wound, which means that it increases the absorbency of the gauze. The gauze also has less loose lint than the traditional woven gauze.
Sterile and Nonsterile
Sterile gauze is individually packaged and is free from any dirt, bacteria, or other microorganisms. It is totally clean and can be used to treat open wounds.
On the other hand, a non-sterile gauze should not be used to cover open wounds. They are used to cushion bruises or any other types of closed wounds.
Types of Gauze Dressings
There are also various types of gauze dressings. These are impregnated dressings, wrapping gauzes, and sponges.
Impregnated dressings are gauze dressings that are saturated or covered with pharmaceutical materials like oil or water emulsion, petroleum jell, iodine, hydrogel, or antimicrobials. They often require a secondary dressing and are non-adherent.
Wrapping gauzes are commonly used for securing, padding, and protecting. These dressing include cotton, elastic, or a nylon and rubber mix, which has a fluff dried crinkle-weave pattern.
Lastly, sponges are often referred to as gauze pads. Gauze sponges are not more absorbent. Gauze pads are folded into squares, and the layers are then referred to as "ply." The ply level indicates how many layers the folded gauze creates, such as eight plies or 12 plies. The higher the number of plies, the thicker the gauze. Gauze pads can be sterile or non-sterile and can be woven or nonwoven. Pads can be made with a variety of materials, and your medical professional will be able to tell you the kind of gauze pad you need. It can be in 2" x 2", 3" x 3", or 4" x 4".
How to Use Gauze Dressing
Now that you know the basic types of gauzes, let's learn some tips on how to apply gauze to a wound:
- To apply gauze to a wound, you will first need a gauze pad that is larger than the wound. Don't forget to wear gloves when opening the pack of sterile gauze pads so as not to contaminate the pads.
- Use a medicated gauze pad or put an antibiotic cream or ointment on the pad. Make sure that it thick enough to absorb fluid from the wound.
- Clean the wound thoroughly and then put the gauze pad over it. Wrap the gauze around the wound by starting below the wound, working your way upward. Do not wrap the wound too tightly. This might cause the gauze pad to stick to the wound.
- Secure the outer gauze with medical tape if it's not self-adhesive. If you need to cover a bigger wound with gauze, unroll a gauze wrap and lay it flat. Cover the wound with a gauze pad while using your thumb to hold one edge of the wrap. Roll the wrap around the wound to cover it twice. Lastly, secure the wrap with a tape or a clip.
Always remember to keep a pair of foldable scissors, shears, or any multitool in your first aid kit. This will come in handy whenever you cut gauze to size and shape.
Learning how to use gauze is a necessary skill in keeping your wounds clean and protected at all times. This will not only prevent infection but will also help heal your wound fast. Even if you're not a health care professional, you can easily learn these tips on how to use gauze to tend to your wound. The secret to understanding such is to learn the basics.
We hope that you were able to learn the simple yet helpful tips on how to use gauze to cover a wound. Now you are ready to apply these tips whenever you get a wound, but please always remember, safety is of top priority!
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