The Importance Of Bandages And Emergency Pressure Dressings
The Importance Of Bandages And Emergency Pressure Dressings
Shallow cuts, scrapes, and abrasions may be minor in the realm of workplace injuries, but they should be tended to immediately. A well-stocked first aid kit is important to have on hand so that workers can treat their wounds in a timely manner. They also help ensure that minor injuries do not become infected. Employers should be sure to make first aid kits available at any workplace.
Most minor injuries only require an adhesive bandage, such as a Band-Aid, or a small amount of gauze and tape. Bandages come in many varieties, and the appropriate should be used depending on the nature of the wound and the environment where a staff member works. There are waterproof adhesive bandages, ones made from flexible woven fabric, sheer strips, and heavyweight bandages for maximum strength that will not tear.
Larger wounds that can't be treated with a bandage and need more absorbency require an emergency pressure dressing. This type of first aid product is made from high-absorbency fabric or gauze. It should be applied with a great deal of pressure and wrapped tightly with a bandage roll.
In addition to emergency pressure dressings, some cuts and lacerations can be treated with alternative supplies. Steri-Strips and butterfly bandages are very small pieces of medical tape that can be used to bring the edges of a wound together to keep it closed and help reduce bleeding.
Severe wounds require medical attention. A doctor or medial professional should be called if:
? The edges of the wound are jagged
? The wound is on the face
? The edges of the wound gape open
? There is dirt in the wound that won't wash or rinse out
? The wound is draining pus
? The wound is tender and inflamed
? The area around the wound has gone numb
? Red streaks are forming near the wound
? Bleeding is profuse and won't stop in 20 minutes
For wounds that can be treated on-site, keeping first aid supplies in one central location, or multiple locations in larger facilities, is the basis for an effective and useful first aid program. Workers should be trained to know where these items are kept so that if an injury occurs, they will be able to quickly find and properly use bandages, Band-Aids, emergency pressure dressings, Steri-Strips, butterfly bandages, and other items. This knowledge, as well as the proper protocol for severe wounds, is essential to maintaining a sound and safe workplace.
When to Use an Elastic Bandage
ELASTIC BANDAGES FOR COMPRESSION AND SUPPORT AFTER AN INJURY
Joint injuries can often be initially treated with an elastic bandage for compression and support. But there are many reasons and ways to use an elastic bandage after an injury, and times when one shouldn’t be used at all. Here are some tips about when and how to use an elastic bandage.
ELASTIC BANDAGES ARE MULTITASKERS
When used immediately after injury, an elastic bandage can serve many functions:
- Control swelling around an injured joint
- Hold an ice pack in place
- Secure a splint after a fracture or severe sprain
- Keep other bandages secure and protected
HOW TO USE AN ELASTIC BANDAGE THE RIGHT WAY
- Elastic bandages should not be used over an open wound. Clean and dress the wound before applying any type of wrap, splint, or other support. Serious wounds need professional medical attention.
- Don’t wrap too tightly. A bandage that’s too tight can cut off circulation completely. Swelling at either end of the bandage, numbness or tingling, or discoloration means the bandage is too tight and needs to be adjusted.
- Leave the fingers and toes unwrapped, exposed, and free to move. This also helps you stay alert to any changes in the injured area like redness or increased swelling, which should be examined by a doctor.
- Adjust the bandage throughout the day. Unwrap the injured area, reapply the bandage, and secure with clips or tape, taking care that there aren’t any wrinkles or twists in the bandage as you wrap. A smooth wrap applies even pressure to the injured area.
KNOW WHEN TO STOP USING AN ELASTIC BANDAGE
The pain and swelling associated with a sprain can mask more serious underlying injuries, so know when to get more help.
- If swelling and pain gets worse, it’s time to seek professional treatment.
- If, after removing the bandage, the injured area still feels numb or tingles, see your doctor.
- If a fracture on a ligament sprain is suspected, an X-ray or MRI will allow your doctor to prescribe the right treatment for your injury
Six Good Reasons to Use Cohesive Bandage as a Strapping Tape
Cohesive bandage is one of the most useful strapping tapes for sport. It is widely used in other countries, but is less well-known here in the UK where adhesive tapes like EAB or zinc oxide tape are more popular. This is a shame, because cohesive bandage is actually the best choice for many touchline tape jobs. Here are six reasons why you should include cohesive bandage in your taping armoury…
1. Cohesive bandage does not stick to the skin
This might sound counter-intuitive; why would you want a strapping tape that doesn’t stick? Here’s the good part: cohesive bandage does not stick to the skin but it DOES stick to itself. When you wrap cohesive bandage over itself, it firmly coheres together (hence the name.) This makes it handy for any tape job that involves wrapping tape around a limb – i.e. most of the tape jobs you will ever need to perform on the touchline or in the changing room. And because it contains no adhesive, it will not inflict any damage to the skin or hair. One of our Rugby club customers who always buys cohesive bandage instead of adhesive tape puts it like this: ‘The lads don’t like to be waxed.’
2. It is very stretchy
Cohesive bandage stretches a lot – up to double its unstretched length. This allows you great flexibility to choose a level of compression to fit the situation. For instance, you could wrap it on with almost no stretch to give light support to a finger bend injury, or stretch it very tightly to provide heavy compression to a severely bleeding wound.
3. It offers variable levels of support
Cohesive bandage offers a range of support levels for weak or injured joints – from light to quite firm – depending on how many layers of tape you wrap on. For instance, when wrapping a sprained ankle, you would avoid applying the cohesive bandage with too much stretch because this would create constriction and cause swelling in the foot. However, you can acheive high levels of support without over-constriction just by adding more layers. One or two layers of cohesive bandage, applied without stretch, will provide quite light support. As you wrap over extra layers, the level of support quickly ‘firms up,’ especially if you press the layers together.
4. It does not ‘give’
With some other kinds of strapping tape, you often have to apply them more tightly than you want them to be to compensate for the fact they stretch out and loosen off a little during wear. Cohesive bandage, on the other hand, does not have this level of give. It stays exactly as you placed it until it is pulled off or unwrapped.
5. You can tear it by hand
Cohesive Bandage can easily be torn along its length and width. Because you don’t have to rumage around for your scissors, you can use it very quickly. Simply tear the tape from one edge in the same way you would tear a piece of paper.
6. It can be reapplied and reused
Because cohesive bandage doesn’t rely on adhesive for its sticking properties, it does not lose its stick. So if you don’t get the tape job right the first time you can just unpeel it and try again. This property also means that you can repeatedly reuse the same piece of cohesive bandage. (Although if you’ve used it to wrap a sweaty foot you might not want to…)
Dressing awkward areas
Hippocrates appreciated that bandages could be tricky to apply: ‘One ought to be well aware that every bandage has a tendency to fall off towards the part that declines or becomes smaller as, for example, upwards in the case of the head and downwards in the case of the leg.’
The heels, elbows, ears, head, chin, breast/chest and sacral areas are notoriously difficult to apply dressings to and skilled application is crucial if a bandage is to stay in place for any length of time. However, the introduction of shaped bandages and tapeless dressing retention products has made the task much easier in many cases.
With a few strategic cuts, different sizes of tubular bandage can be used to secure head, ear or chin dressings (Fig 3). Larger sizes with slits cut for the arms can be used as a vest to secure chest, back or complex breast dressings.