What is a sterile bandage?

A sterile adhesive bandage.

A sterile dressing, also known as a sterile dressing, is any material that is free of infectious matter and that is used to cover an open wound or wound to help control bleeding and prevent further contamination of the environment. One of the main functions of the skin is to act as a guard against microorganisms, commonly called germs; wreckage; chemicals and other substances from the environment, keeping the underlying tissues and organs safe from this dangerous contact. The skins, however, can suffer scrapes, cuts, puncture wounds and burns to varying degrees. Some sort of sterile dressing is often used to restore the body’s protection temporarily, covering the fracture or laceration in the skin as it heals.

A sterile bandage is used to cover an open wound.

There is more than one type of sterile dressing; adhesive bandages, medicated bandages, cohesive bandages and liquid bandages can be included as sterile dressings. The choice of type to use is usually dictated by the type and severity of the injury. For example, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics in the United States often wear a special type of sterile dressing known as an occlusive dressing. This is done to form an airtight seal over an open wound in the large veins in the neck, abdomen, or chest. An occlusive bandage is available in two forms: a plastic wrap and a dressing soaked in petroleum gel.

Sterile gauze is used to heal a wound and control bleeding.

When life-threatening bleeding or a large open wound needs attention, a sterile dressing known as a universal dressing can be used to quickly cover and help control the bleeding. Universal dressings are also known as bulky dressings because of their large and bulky size. Wounds created by objects that have been impaled on any part of the body are also usually treated with universal bandages to stabilize the object during emergency transport of the patient to a hospital or other medical care facility.

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Individually wrapped gauze packs are sterile until opened.

A compressive dressing is another form of sterile dressing that can be used. It is applied firmly to help control bleeding. Gauze is usually the dressing used first, and a universal dressing can then be applied over it, depending on the size and depth of the wound. Finally, a self-adhesive roller bandage is applied firmly to stabilize all layers.

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