Along with attending a first aid training course in Sydney, putting together a first aid kit is essential in keeping yourself prepared for illnesses and injuries. With the right training and tools close at hand, you’ll be able to extend help to others during medical emergencies at home, in your place of work, or even on the road.
First aid kits should always have a supply of bandages, which are used for dressing, splinting, and supporting or restricting the movement of different body parts. However, there are many types of bandages out there; how do you know which one should be in your first aid kit?
Basic first aid kits commonly have adhesive bandages and gauzes of different sizes, a roller gauze, and triangular bandages. Combined with the other items in the kit, these bandages are good enough for addressing minor traumatic injuries like cuts and scrapes, burns, and sprains and strains.
However, there are plenty of other bandage options in the market aside from the basic ones, and many of them are made with a specific purpose in mind. There are different ways of classifying them too: according to shape and size, the specific body part they should be used on, and the injury that they are designed to address. Below, we’ll look at the different types of bandages and how they are used.
- Roller bandage – Also known as gauze rolls, roller bandages refer to a long, single strip of cotton gauze. The lighter ones are used to hold wound dressing in place, as well as support and provide comfort to the affected area. The roll is firmly wrapped around the wound, producing pressure that helps control bleeding and promote blood clotting. There are also thicker roller bandages with an elasticated design that are used to support joints. The wrapping of the roller bandage typically indicates its degree of elasticity, weave, and type of bandage.
- Triangular bandage – Triangular bandages offer versatility. These triangle-shaped bandages are often made of cotton and used to make a sling to reinforce dislocated shoulders or broken arms. They can also be used as a makeshift tourniquet in emergency situations or used in place of a roller bandage to hold a dressing in place or apply pressure.
- Tubular bandage – Tubular bandages are specialized, thus they rank lower in versatility compared to triangular and roller bandages. They are typically rolled when packaged, and they look like a hollow tube made of cotton, which may be elasticated. Smaller bandages are used on fingers and toes, while bigger ones are stretchable and used on limbs. They work well in keeping the dressing in place.
- Donut bandage – Donut bandages are used when a person has been impaled by an object. The impaled object is placed in the hole of the donut bandage to stabilize it. This keeps the object in place and prevents it from causing further harm.
Body part or Injury
- Eye patch – Eye patches refer to pre-cut gauzes that are typically used on an injured or infected eye. It prevents foreign objects from coming into contact with the eye and irritating it further. Eye patches can be held in place by adhesives or by roller bandage.
- Sterile burn sheet – This laminated blanket provides a sterile environment for burn victims, thereby protecting them from infection. The blankets are pretty sturdy; they’re resistant to tearing and have many different uses in the field.
There are other, more specialized bandages and dressings in the market that are used for a variety of purposes. They can be designed to keep water out, keep the injury area moist, or drain fluids from the wound, among others. There are also transparent wound dressings, which help people monitor the condition of the injury without disturbing the site.
While it’s not an absolute necessity to have a wide variety of dressings in your arsenal, it’s important that you know how to properly use the ones that you do have. This way, you won’t second guess your decisions and options when you are faced with an emergency situation that requires the use of your first aid kit.
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