Wound care involves changing the bandage to keep the patient's cut, scrape or incision clean and free of infection. One can check for infection by examining the body temperature. An infrared thermometer is an appropriate way to get a quick and accurate information about the body temperature. There are many types of wound dressings; one is advised to consult their doctor to find out which is right for their type of wound to minimise the chance of a stuck dressing.
Gauze is a common wound dressing that aids healing by allowing for absorption of bodily fluids. It is designed to be permeable and allow free flow of air. Like other types of wound dressings, this one also requires regular changing of the bandage for proper healing and eliminating infection.
Sometimes, it is found at the time of changing bandage that the gauze bandage sticks to healing wound, making the dressing change a little more difficult. Here is a step by step guide on removing a stuck gauze from a wound.
1. First of all, make sure that you maintain a sterile environment when changing a dressing. To bring down the chances of contaminants entering the wound and causing infection, hand washing is important. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before removing the old gauze bandage.
2. Slowly and carefully, begin to remove the old gauze from your wound, moving in the direction of hair growth if the bandage covers the arm, leg or other hairy area of the body. If there is a scab and the gauze is stuck to the wound, stop immediately to avoid re-opening scabs as this causes tissue damage and more pain to the patient.
3. Wet the dressing if it is stuck to a wound. You can use either plain water or saline solution to remove stubborn stuck on gauze. A salt water solution using 1/4 teaspoon of table salt for every quart of water is appropriate. Fill a basin or bucket with the solution and soak the bandage-covered wound in the water or saline solution for a few minutes. Now proceed carefully to remove the bandage. Stubborn scabs may require more than one attempts at soak-and-try removal.
4. When the scab has softened adequately, remove bandage slowly. After that, gently pat dry the affected area with a clean towel and allow it to air dry naturally. Dress the wound with a fresh sterile gauze swab as directed by the doctor. Dispose of the used gauze suitably and wash hands again.
What Not To Do When Changing a Gauze Dressing
Do not leave the dressings or gauze on wounds for long periods of time; change them as often as your doctor suggests. As the immune system will start to work immediately, the wound may turn pink, or get swollen and tender. This stage of healing can take between 2 to 5 days. If the wound is extremely painful and tender after this time, there may be an infection. It is best to consult the doctor at this juncture to take the next steps for healing.