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Sterile swabs, non-sterile swabs

When an injury or cut occurs, even a minor one, it is worth treating the resulting wound appropriately - to protect it from infection and injury. One of the basic types of wound dressing materials are swabs. These are pieces of fabric, usually cotton, with which a still open wound can be covered - e.g. to protect it from mechanical damage and wound contamination and to absorb exudate. Gauze pads are commonly used in combination with knitted bandages or plasters - depending on the specific nature of the resulting wound - and are used to form dressings until the damaged skin has healed. As there are many types of swabs available - they vary in both level of sterilisation and size - they can be used to supply almost any wound in a safe manner.

Sterile gauze swabs or non-sterile gauze swabs?

Swabs are divided into sterile swabs and non-sterile swabs. The former are fully sterile and can therefore be applied directly to the open wound, as well as being used to gently irrigate the wound using a disinfectant or other agent prescribed by the doctor. The second is designed for external wound protection - it is applied over a previously placed sterile dressing. Their presence reduces the risk of "traumatising" the damaged skin and provides additional protection against scratching or disruption of the dressing. For this reason, it is useful to have both non-sterile gauze pads and sterile dressings in the first aid kit at home or in the company so that the correct dressing can be selected for the specific wound being treated. It is also worth noting that, in addition to standard compresses, you can also find a hydrogel version on the market - suitable, for example, for dressing burn wounds for additional cooling. This is also an accessory that should not be missing from basic first aid equipment.

What sizes can sterile swabs be?

Gauze swabs can come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are most often square, which makes them easier to apply. The key difference comes from size. There are small compresses available, such as 5x5 cm, as well as larger ones, including, for example, 10x10 cm or even 20x20 cm sterile gauze pads. It is advisable to choose their size according to the size of the wound. It is worth ensuring that the compress, even when folded, extends slightly beyond the boundaries of the wound - so that it effectively protects it in its entirety, even if it moves slightly.

What to look out for when choosing a gauze swabs?

In addition to size and sterility/non-sterility, the characteristics of the swabs are also important, such as: - material of manufacture - the most popular are swabs made of natural, breathable fabrics, including cotton, - number of layers making up the swab - if the wound involves a lot of exudate, it is advisable to go for thicker ones, which are better able to absorb body fluids, - packaging - it is advisable to choose packaging where each swab is individually wrapped, this ensures that after opening the product, the unused swabs will retain their sterility.

How to use gauze swabs?

Swabs, as already written, are used primarily for the treatment of open wounds - including cuts, cuts, as well as burn wounds, bedsores or surgical and similar wounds. Each time the dressing is changed, a new dressing must be applied and, before applying the dressing, the wound must be treated with a suitably selected disinfectant and, if recommended, an antibiotic or other agent to promote healing. The sterile compress, applied directly to the wound, can be additionally protected with a non-sterile swab and the whole thing gently wrapped with a bandage. At you will find a wide range of sterile and non-sterile swabs and other dressings. If you are not sure which one to choose, you can consult your pharmacist or ask your doctor for advice.