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One of the important lessons in Safety and First Aid education is the proper application of dressing and bandage. Dressing and bandage work hand in hand and are used to cover injuries like wounds as protection from infection and sprain and to immobilize the injured parts like sprain and fracture, thereby, reducing pain and discomfort.
Through dressing and bandage are readily available in pharmacy stores, there are times that need to use these happens when someone least expect it. Therefore, any clean and sterile cloth and cloth like materials can be used as substitute to secure and protect injured body parts.
Dressing is a clean and sterilized cloth pad or cloth like material used to cover and oftentimes to stop bleeding and protect the injury from infection. A clean cloth which absorbs blood can prevent infection to set in can be used as alternative for readily available dressing.
Generally, a dressing has three functions;
It control the bleeding. Dressing helps control bleeding and,thus,prevents significant blood loss.
It minimize infection. A clean dressing minimizes if not prevent infection. A less infected area heals a lot faster than one that is swelling from infection.
It absorption of the body fluids. When the body is wounded, blood and other fluids like plasma and water are lost. Dressing with the help of pressure helps absorb these fluids, thus preventing further injury.
There are several kinds of Dressing for different injuries. A large injury would need a larger dressing while a smaller one needs a small dressing.
The Roller Gauze is made from strips of sterilized gauze rolled firmly. Sizes are in inches and usually 10 yards long.
The Square gauze pad is a dressing made from folded sheets of gauze. This also comes in different sizes.
The Adhesive compress or sometimes called "adhesive strips" is for small wounds. The middle part is sterilized and the sticky parts act as adhesive and compress.
Like dressing, a Bandage is a clean and sterile cloth like material whose purpose is to firmly hold the dressing on the injured body part. A bandage is used to Control bleeding bandage adds compression on the injured body part, thus, preventing swelling and loss of blood and body fluids. It helps immobilize injured body part, thus, preventing further damage to tissues. It also secure splints in place. Splints are mechanical devices which immobilize and protect injured body parts.
There are kinds of bandage also;
The triangular bandage it is large enough to cover different injuries. It can also be used as a broad, semi broad, and narrow cravat bandage. A cravat is prepared by folding a triangular bandage to the desired size.
The four tail bandage, it has both ends and cut, making four ends. It works best for injuries of the nose and Chin. Remember not to use a four tail bandage for a jaw bone injury.
The Muslin binder, it is a rectangular cloth measuring between 12 and 18 inches wide and 36 to 60 inches long and pinned in front. This binder works best for chest and abdominal injuries.
Last the Elastic bandage, it is available in rolled form. Since it is elastic, it is pulled to the desired tightness to compress the injury. Always check capillary refill if used on limbs.
The square knot is very popular in trying and securing dressing and bandage because it is very easy to tie and untie and once both ends were pulled will not easily slip, tighten up,or loosen up.
Remember when tying and untying square knot, hold one end of the bandage with the right hand and the other end with the left hand. Place the right end over the left end. Insert right end under the loop and slip to the left. Left hand holds the inserted end and the right hand holds the other end. Place left end over the right end. Insert left end under and slip towards the right, pull the knot to secure it and release knot by pulling one end to the opposite end and pulling the knot towards the same end.