What are the First Aid Dressings and Bandages?

The terms “bandage” and “dressing” are often considered the same. Dressing refers to the primary layer to put in the wound, and a bandage, on the other hand, is used to hold dressings in place.

This blog will discuss first aid dressings and bandages, their types, and their purpose.

What is a first aid dressing?

A dressing is used to protect a wound, prevent infection, and allow healing and should be large enough to cover the wound, with a safety margin of about 2.5 cm on all sides beyond the wound.

A sterile dressing may control bleeding from a major wound or absorb any discharge from a minor wound.

What are the types of first aid dressing?

These are the different types of first aid dressing:

  • Sterile wound dressings - A sterile dressing may be used to control bleeding from a major wound or absorb discharge from a minor wound. Dressings must be bulky to ensure adequate pressure is applied over the injured area. They are ideal for filling crater wounds or controlling severe bleeding.
  • Sterile non-adherent dressings - A non-adherent dressing is often covered on one or both sides with a plastic film containing many perforations. It is used for extensive surface wounds such as an abrasion (graze) or burn. If only one side has a plastic film, that is the side to be placed against the wound. This allows fluids to pass through into an absorbent layer, to keep the wound dry.
  • Improvised dressings - In an emergency, a dressing may be improvised from various materials. A bulky pad may be made from a bundle of facial tissues or other non-fluffy material to control bleeding. A piece of clean plastic kitchen wrap may be used initially for minor burns or scald. Cooling should be continued until a sterile dressing is available.

What is a bandage?

A bandage is a piece of material used to support a medical device such as a dressing or splint and used on its own to support or restrict the movement of a body part. A bandage is used to hold the dressing in place when used with a dressing.

Bandages are available in many types, from generic cloth strips to specialised bandages designed for a specific limb or part of the body. Bandages can often be improvised as the situation demands, using clothing, blankets or other material.

What are the types of bandages?

There are three main types of bandages, these are:

  • Roller bandages are the most common type of bandage. They’re typically made from a single continuous strip of lightweight and breathable cotton gauze, used primarily for holding dressings against wounds.
  • Triangular bandages are among the more versatile types of bandaging you can usually find in a first aid kit. They are designed for constructing slings that Support soft tissue injuries and immobilise broken bones.
  • Tubular bandages are perhaps the least versatile of the three conventional bandages. They provide compression, can be used to immobilise/support knee and elbow joints and, in some cases, hold a dressing against a limb.

What is the purpose of first aid dressings and bandages?

A first-aid dressing can have several purposes, depending on the wound's type, severity and position, although all purposes are focused on promoting recovery and protecting from further harm.

The fundamental purposes of dressing are to:

  • Stop bleeding
  • Protect from infection
  • Absorb exudate
  • Ease pain
  • Debride the wound
  • Reduce psychological stress.

On the other hand, bandages hold a dressing in place over a wound, secure a splint to an injured part of the body, and provide support to an injured part.

The fundamental purposes of a bandage are to:

  • Immobilise an injured part and relieve pain
  • Support the wound and dressing
  • Immobilise a fracture or dislocation
  • Control haemorrhage
  • Improve venous blood flow from lower extremities by applying pressure
  • Reduce or prevent swelling.

Where can I find online first aid dressings and bandages training courses?

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited online first aid dressings and bandages training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team byclicking hereto tell us your more about first aid dressings and bandages training courses.

Online training courses for first aid dressings and bandages

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