First aid is the most crucial aspect of essential healthcare. Wound care supplies are integral for treating cuts and scrapes; they help prevent infections and keep your wound clean. The variety of products available in the market can confuse any healthcare provider. Worry not because this guide details what you should consider while purchasing essential supplies for wound care.
Table of Contents
Gauze pads in several sizes.
Gauze pads are the most widely used wound-care product. They are made of cotton and come in several sizes, including a standard square pad (4 inches by 4 inches), smaller ones for first aid kits, and larger ones for wrapping critical wounds. Gauze can be cut to size or shaped into a dressing of any size or shape you need.
Most gauze pads are inexpensive and durable, given appropriate maintenance and storage. To keep your gauze pads clean and dry, store them in airtight plastic zipper bags or containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent mildew growth on dampened gauze pads when not in use.
Bandages in several sizes.
Bandages should fit snugly without being too tight. They should not be painful, and there should be no redness or other signs of irritation. A tight bandage can cut off blood flow to the area beneath it, causing more harm than good by preventing natural healing processes from occurring.
Bandages need to be changed at least every 24 hours but require frequent changing if they become wet or dirty, as this increases the risk of infection.
Adhesive, Bandage and Medical Tape
Adhesive tape secures bandages, but they should not be used to cover a wound completely. This can cause irritation and discomfort for the patient.
Bandage tape is made from a strong fabric that sticks to itself and not skin, making it useful for securing bandages over wounds.
Medical tape, like adhesive or bandage tapes, is made from a thin material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s stronger than both types of taping methods because of how thick it is: medical tapes are generally 1/8 inch thick, while bandage and adhesive tapes are usually only 1/16th inch thick. The medical tape has many specialities—it can be used to make slings or apply traction to an injured area.
Antibiotic ointments help prevent infection and should be applied directly to the wound. It can treat minor cuts and scrapes but should not be applied to deep wounds with a risk of necrosis or tissue death. If you are using the antibiotic ointment for the first time, it’s essential to read the instructions carefully before applying it.
Antibiotic ointments should not be kept at room temperature; they must be refrigerated after opening (again, check your instructions).
Finger splints and slings.
Finger splints and slings help support joints. The most common type of sling is made from padded fabric, while finger splints typically consist of a rigid material like plastic or metal.
Slings support injured arms, while finger splints help treat sprains or breaks in the wrist area. Some injuries may require both devices to stabilise bones and reduce pain during recovery.
Finger splints and slings come in different sizes depending on the severity of your injury or condition, so you must consult your doctor before purchasing one (or several).
What to Consider while Purchasing Wound Care Supplies
- Budget: The costs of wound care supplies depend on the type of wound and the length of time you will be using them. You may be able to find supplies at a lower cost if you buy in bulk or order online.
- Size of Wound: It is essential to choose the right size dressing for your wound, which can be difficult because they look similar! If possible, try out different types until you find one that fits well.
- Verified Provider: Quality wound care supplies are usually more effective. For example, low-quality waterproof bandages may be susceptible to water, causing extra distress and potential for accidents. Look for certified products marketed by verified providers with good customer feedback.