A material used to protect a wound and to heal is called a surgical dressing. They serve various functions for the injured site. They remove wound exudates from the site, prevent infection, and give physical protection to the healing wound and mechanical support to the supporting tissues. A good quality of dressing should be durable, easy to handle, sterilized, formed from loose threads and fibers and it should not adhere to the granulating surface.
Surgical dressings are classified as:
- Primary wound dressings
- Adhesive tapes and
1. Primary Wound Dressings:
Primary wound dressings are applied over the wound surface to absorb pus, mucus, blood, etc. They minimize maceration. Some dressings adhere to the wound surface and cause pain on removing them. Now nonadherent dressings are available such as petrolatum-impregnated gauge, viscose-gauze impregnated with a bland, hydrophilic oil-in-water emulsion or an absorbent pad faced with, a soft plastic film having openings, etc.
2. Absorbents :
Absorbent cotton is widely used to absorb wound secretions. Other absorbent materials are rayon wool, cotton wool, gauze pads,laparotomy sponges,sanitary napkins, disposable cleaners, eye pads, nursing pads, cotton up applications, etc. They are used in the shape of bolls or pads.
3. Bandages :
A bandage is a material which holds dressing at the required site, applies pressure or support an injured part or checks hemorrhage. The bandages may be elastic or non-elastic in nature.Common gauze roller bandage and muslin bandage rolls
are employee most frequently. Elastic bandages may be woven to form elastic bandage, crepe bandage and conforming bandage.
4. Adhesive Tapes:
Surgical adhesive tapes may be a rubber-based adhesive or an acrylate adhesive.Rubber adhesive tapes are cheap, superior and provide strength of backing .In case of operation or post-operation acrylate adhesive tapes are used to reduce skin trauma.
5. Protectives :
Protectives are employed to cover wet dressings, poultices and for retention of heat.They prevent the escape of moisture from the dressing. Some protectives are plastic -sheeting, rubber sheeting, waxed ;or WELL coated papers and plastic-coated papers.