In the last post, we discussed one of the ways to classify bandages, which is based on the materials used in the bandages and their composition. In today’s post we will discuss a different classification based on the function of the bandage. But first, let’s summarize the different functions for which bandages are used:
Uses of bandages
Nowadays, bandages are commonly used by healthcare professionals in the hospital, physiotherapy and veterinary sectors. This is why there are so many different types of bandages and such a variety of purposes for which they are used.
Some of the most common uses of bandages are:
- Supporting a wound: after an operation it is often necessary to use a support bandage to prevent stitches or recently closed wounds from reopening.
- Securing dressings or splints: both dressings and splints are usually accompanied by a bandage to keep them in place.
- Protection against mechanical injuries or bacteria: in parallel with the first function, some bandages are applied as a protective layer to protect the wound from blows, friction or external infections.
- Stop hemorrhages: in the case of these wounds, a compressive bandage is often necessary to stop or reduce bleeding.
- Improve venous return, as in the case of venous ulcers that appear on the lower limbs of the body. In this way, the bandage supports the body’s blood circulation to allow the blood to circulate correctly.
- Immobilization of joints, either partially or totally: in the case of bone cracks, fractures or muscle tears, one of the treatments involves the use of immobilization bandages that allow the affected area to recover.
Classification according to the function of the bandage
After observing the uses indicated in the previous section, bandages can be grouped into four basic functions, fixation and support bandages, compression bandages, padding bandages and immobilization bandages.
- Fixation and support bandages
These types of bandages are mainly used to support wounds, to secure dressings and/or splints and to protect areas of the body from mechanical injury or infection. Some of the bandages used for these purposes include gauze bandages, crepe bandages, elastic bandages, cohesive bandages or tubular support bandages.
Tubular support bandages
These are used to stop bleeding and to improve venous return, as in the case of venous ulcers. They are also used for semi-rigid immobilization of a limb.
The most commonly used compression bandages include compression bandages themselves, tubular compression bandages and some types of crepe bandages.
In terms of bandages intended to perform a compression function, especially in the case of compression bandages for the treatment of venous ulcers, it should be mentioned that there are kits that combine everything necessary to perform this compressive treatment according to the patient’s needs. These are called compression kits and will be discussed in more detail in future blog posts.
When we talk about a padding bandage, we are referring to bandages that are used prior to a more aggressive bandage and which aim to protect the skin or joint from the main bandage. Among the main padding bandages we find pre-tapes, crepe paper bandages and padding bandages, the last being the most common in most cases.
Foam bandages (pretape)
Crepe paper bandages
The aim of immobilization bandages is to limit the mobility of a joint, either partially or completely. In this way, a damaged area can be restored or painful movements can be avoided.
Plaster of Paris
As we can see, there are a multitude of bandages and their uses are quite varied. It should also be noted that the classification of bandages is quite subjective so it is not surprising that there are different classifications. However, in today’s entry we have tried to bring together the most widely used criteria.
Produced by the Technical Department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.
with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla.
- Fundamentals of Nursing. Kozier & Erb
- Vendajes e inmovilizaciones. Manual de bolsillo para enfermería Cristina Gomez Enriquez M1 Jose Rodriguez (https://www.picuida.es/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Manual-Venajes-Jerez.pdf)
- El vendaje funcional. Toni Bové (http://udocente.sespa.princast.es/documentos/El%20vendaje%20funcional.pdf)