Proper First Aid Dressing Use
Making sure that your wound is properly covered and the proper first aid dressing is changed at the correct time is extremely important in the healing process. Medical literature and established wound care information shows that a wound covered with a dressing or bandage heals faster than an uncovered wound. Dressing a wound properly will:
- Help to prevent infection by protecting your injury from water, dirt, and germs.
- Protect your injury from a bump or a scrape, which could upset the healing process.
- Provide an environment that helps the wound heal efficiently.
It is important to keep your wound covered until the surface is completely healed to create the best conditions for healing.
Throughout the wound healing process, dressings are going to need to be changed regularly. The following information contains guidelines on how to change the dressing. Please note that this information is intended only to be a general guide, be sure to follow the instructions that your own healthcare provider has given you:
When changing a dressing...
- Make sure you have the first aid supplies you need before you remove the old dressing. Do you have BAND-AID® Brand of First Aid Products, the gauze, bandage, and tape, that you need? Using the proper supplies will help the injury heal better and faster.
- Always wash your hands before changing the dressing. This is a good way to prevent infection. Wash them again after you change your dressing.
- Follow all your healthcare provider's instructions. Remember, each type of injury needs special care. If you have a problem with the dressing or are not sure what to do, call your healthcare provider and ask.
Putting on a new first aid dressing is easy
Protect... the area completely with a wound care dressing and a tape. A covered wound heals more efficiently, has less of a chance for scarring and infection, and enjoys superior protection.
- Step 1—Cover it
- Select the appropriate primary cover. The dressing should fully cover the area that needs to heal. Leave ½ inch of the cover extending beyond the wound to make sure the wound is covered properly.
- Step 2—Roll it
- Apply a rolled bandage over the cover to provide extra cushion and absorbency.
- Step 3—Secure it
- Use a tape or wrap that fits your needs for durability, skin sensitivity, and ease of removal. The right kind of tape comfortably holds your dressing in place.
For any questions or concerns on changing a dressing contact your doctor. Always follow any specific wound care instructions they have given you for your wound.
Seek professional help
Contact your doctor or return to the hospital if any of the following occur:
- The injury or surrounding area seems worse
- Excessive bleeding
- Increased redness, swelling, or oozing (pus)
- Increased pain
- Stitches are torn or broken in any way
The following symptoms could indicate a serious infection so contact your doctor immediately:
- Swollen glands
- Swelling around the wound
- Red streaks leading from the wound
- Throbbing pain