There are many ways to classify bandages. In this and the following post we are going to deal with the two most widespread ones. First, in this blog post we will classify bandages according to the material and composition, and then, in BLOG 8, we will categorize bandages according to their purpose or function when applied. Although these classifications are common in many points, in others they differ.
This type of bandage is widely used as a support bandage. It is sometimes applied directly to wounds as it can be impregnated with Vaseline or medication. At the same time, it allows air to circulate through it, enabling very good breathability for the wound. Gauze bandages have little or no elasticity. In the past, gauze bandages were quite common, although in recent years they have fallen into disuse.
These are bandages that adapt very well to any area of the body thanks to their elasticity. Their main use is to hold and support, allowing the wounds to be protected from the environment and preventing them from becoming infected. Elastic bandages are usually made of synthetic and natural yarns such as: cotton, viscose, polyamide and/or PBT.
As we can imagine, elasticity is one of the key factors of this bandage, normally being around 100% and about 140% for crepe elastic bandages.
Crepe elastic bandage.
This is a particular type of elastic bandage, so called because of the shape of the fabric that forms it. It is arguably the most widespread type of elastic bandage. It usually has two longitudinal lines on the sides of the bandage in red or blue. It is a full-bodied bandage but at the same time it is very porous and breathable.
The main characteristic of this bandage is the grammage. Some of the most common standards are 70 gr/m2, 90 gr/m2 or 100 gr/m2.
Cohesive elastic bandages.
This type of bandage is an elastic bandage that has been impregnated with a cohesive material, which gives the bandage its properties. Cohesive elastic bandages are widespread in Europe and the Americas. Its main advantage, as we have already mentioned, is that because the bandage adheres to itself, it remains in place for much longer. In addition, unlike adhesive bandages, these bandages do not stick to the skin or clothing, thus facilitating their removal.
This type of bandage is intended to protect an area of the body before another type of bandage is applied, for example before an immobilization bandage such as a plaster cast or polyester splints, or before a functional bandage. They are usually made of cotton, viscose or some kind of synthetic fiber. They are also known as cotton or cushioning bandages. Within the category of padding bandages we can also find what are called paper bandages or crepe paper bandages, which have the same purpose but are made of paper.
They have a similar purpose to the padding bandages but are made of polyurethane of greater or lesser thickness. Sometimes this material is impregnated with a substance to eliminate odors, relieve itching or reduce inflammation. They are also often referred to as pre-tape bandages.
Elastic adhesive bandages.
These bandages are designed to reduce partial movement of a joint or body part. They contain an adhesive that allows them to be attached to different surfaces and have a high adhesive power. They are widely used in the application of functional bandages.
Its purpose is the total immobilization of a part of the body in order to allow its recovery. This material, when combined with water, becomes moldable and when it dries it becomes rigid, allowing the immobilization of the limb. It is usually applied over a padding/cushioning bandage to avoid harming that part of the body.
Polyester fiber bandages.
They have the same purpose and use as plaster bandages but are made from synthetic materials. While they are more expensive than plaster, they have the advantage that, once correctly applied, the patient can get wet without damaging the bandage. Polyester fiber bandages are also much lighter than plaster bandages.
Tubular bandages are tube-shaped and there are three main types. First, there is the tubular compression bandage, which generates a slight compression on the applied area. Second, the support bandage is an elastic bandage that serves as protection before another type of bandage is applied. Finally, the mesh bandage is a very elastic bandage used as a support for dressings and other bandages. This type of bandage is easy to apply. The materials from which it is composed are very diverse.
Plasters and tapes.
Plasters are bandages that are impregnated with adhesive, but unlike elastic adhesive bandages, these bandages have little or no elasticity. They are made of different materials: paper plasters, plastic plasters, fabric plasters and TNT plasters. Finally, there are the ones known as tapes, which are like plasters but different. Although they are all made of a fabric impregnated with adhesive, their functions are very diverse and their use is very versatile, from fixing bandages or other objects, to their use in functional or compression bandages.
In the case of tapes, they are inelastic adhesive bandages which, when properly applied, form undulations on the skin to increase the subdermal space and facilitate lymphatic and blood flow.
These are a very specific type of tape that due to the undulations of the fabric and always being applied by professionals in the sector, allows muscle recovery in a faster and more effective way. They are widely used in fields such as physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation.
This is an adhesive bandage, with elasticity only in the longitudinal direction.
As we can see, there are a multitude of bandages and their use is quite varied. It is very important to be familiar with all these types, as well as their compositions, because their functions and the way they are applied depend greatly on this knowledge.
Produced by the Technical Department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.
with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla.
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