“The surgical dressings are used to cover the wounds to enable quick healing of wounds”.
These are also used for medicinal purposes and to absorb and retain a wide range of fluids from the blood and exudate of damaged tissue.
SHIVANEE VYASASSISTANT PROFESSOR en School of Pharmacy and Technology Management, NMIMS (Deemed to be University)
2. “The surgical dressings are used to cover the wounds to enable quick healing of wounds”.
These are also used for medication purpose and to absorb and retain a wide range of fluids form the blood and
exudate of damaged tissue.
Ideal properties of the surgical dressing are as follows:
1. It should be non-adherent to skin surface.
2. It should have the maximum absorbing capacity.
3. It should be cheap and non-inflammable.
4. It should be porous to water vapour, otherwise the sweat from the surrounding skin will accumulate
and delay the healing.
5. It should be free from foreign substances that cause tissue reactions such as allergy or hypersensitivity.
6. It should be capable of being sterilised by conventional methods.
7. It should be sufficient tensile strength.
8. It should be smooth on both the surfaces.
9. It should be unaffected by industrial solvent such as detergents and oils.
10. It should have constant properties under normal conditions of storage and use.
3. 1. COTTON
Purified cotton is the hairy part of the seed, obtained by Gossypium Hiesupium Linn or of other species of
Gossypium (Family: Malvaceae) freed from adhering impurities, bleached and sterilized in its final container.
• Category: Surgical aid. (For cleaning and swabbing wounds, application of
medicament, supplementary absorbent pad to absorb excess wound exudate).
• Description: It is white, soft, fine, filament like hair appearing under the
microscope as hollow, and slightly thickened at the edges. It is practically
odourless and tasteless.
• Solubility: It is insoluble in ordinary solvents; soluble in ammoniated cupric
• Packaging and Storage: Packages are in rolls of not more than 500 gm of a
continuous lap, with light weight paper running under the entire lap enclosed
and sealed in a well closed container.
• Labelling: Label bears a statement that the sterility cannot be guarantees if the
package bears evidence of damage or if the package has been opened
• Sterility: It should satisfy the sterility test.
4. 2. GAUZE
A. ABSORBENT GAUZE:
It is a white cotton cloth of various thread counts and weights, length and widths supplied in the form of rolls or folds.
It is in the form of plain woven cloth.
• Category: Surgical aid (for preoperative preparation, for cleansing and
swabbing), for direct wound dressing.
• Packaging and storage: In a well closed container such that the sterility
of content is maintained until the package is opened for use.
• Labelling: Label should indicate:
It’s type or thread count, length and width and the number of
Non-sterilised or sterilised and if sterile then contents may not be
sterile if the package bears evidence of damage or has been
The name of the manufacturer, or distributor.
• Identification test: It produces violet colour after treatment with
iodinated zinc chloride solution.
• Sterilization: It may be sterilized by autoclave, hot air oven or by
5. B. ABSORBENT RIBBON GAUZE: (unmedicated ribbon gauze)
It consists of cloth of plain weave supplied in ribbons of various widths and length. The threads are of cotton
Its absorbency reduces by medication, prolonged storage or exposure to heat.
• Uses: It is used to pack sinus, throat, dental cavities and open infected wound to assist healing.
C. GAUZE AND COTTON TISSUE: (Absorbent gauze tissue)
It consist of thick layer of absorbent cotton wool enclosed in gauze in tubular from.
• Standards: These are similar to that of absorbent Gauze.
• Uses: It is used as an absorbent and protective pad with or without an additional dressing. It is also used as
burns dressing on non-adherent layer.
D. GAUZE SWAB:
It consist of absorbent cotton gauze type 13, light or absorbent cotton into square or rectangles with no cut
7. 3. BANDAGES
A. RETENSION BANDAGES:
The retention bandages are of two types:
I. Non-stretch fabric
II. Stretch fabric
Non stretch fabric Retention bandages
1. Triangular Calico Bandage: It consist of triangular shaped piece of unbleached
cotton cloth of plain weave.
• Uses: it is used as sling. If the bandage is likely to be in contact with area of
broken skin, it should be sterilized before use.
2. Domette Bandage: It consist of fabric of plain weave in which treads are of
• Uses: it is used mainly for orthopedic purpose where a higher degree of support
and protection is required. These qualities are provided by heavy wool weft.
STRETCH FABRIC RETENTION BANDAGES
1. Cotton conforming Bandage: it is consist of cotton cloth of plain weave, treated to impart some
elasticity to warp.
• Uses: it is used to protect dressings and hold them in place at difficult position such as joint.
2. Nylon and viscose stretch Bandage: Fabric plain weave containing warp of nylon filament and the
weft of cotton.
• Uses: it is used for retention of dressings.
B. SUPPORT BANDAGES
1. Crepe Bandage: It consist of fabric of plain weave in which the warp is of cotton and wool threads
and weft is of cotton threads.
• Uses: It is used in the treatment of strains and other conditions which require light support. The
elasticity of the bandage is lost during its use which can be restored by washing the bandage in hot
2. Cotton Crepe Bandage: A fabric of plain weave in which the warp threads are of crepe twisted
cotton and the weft threads are of cotton and /or rayon.
3. Cotton Stretch Bandage: It is a fabric of plain weave having the warp threads are of crepe twisted
cotton. It is stretch bandage which is lighter than cotton crepe bandage.
4. Cotton and rubber elastic bandage: it is a fabric of plain weave having the warp threads
of cotton and rubber and weft threads of cotton.
5. Elastic adhesive bandage: It is a woven fabric, elastic in warp and weft of cotton and
rayon threads spread with adhesive mass containing zinc oxide.
C. MEDICATED BANDAGES
1. Zinc paste bandages: It is cotton fabric of plain weave impregnated with suitable paste
containing zinc oxide.
• Packaging: it should be enclosed in sealed packages which prevent the entry of moisture.
• Uses: It is used to support and prevent the swelling of fractured limbs after the removal of
• Example: Zincaband®
2. Zinc paste and coal tar bandage: it is a cotton fabric of plain weave impregnated with a
suitable paste containing coal tar and zinc oxide. It also requires additional bandaging.
• Uses: It is used in the treatment of skin disorders.
3. Zinc paste and ichthammol bandage: It is cotton fabric of plain weave impregnated with
suitable paste containing zinc oxide and ichthammol.
• Uses: In the treatment of leg ulcers, chronic dermatitis.
4. ADHESIVE TAPES
The surgical adhesive tapes are of three types:
1. Permeable 2. Semipermeable 3. Impermeable
(A) Permeable Surgical Adhesive Tapes
1. Zinc Oxide surgical Adhesive Tape: It is a fabric of plain weave having warp and weft threads of
cotton and/or rayon spread with an adhesive containing zinc oxide.
• Uses: For securing dressings and immobilizing small areas.
2. Elastic Surgical: Adhesive Tape It is a woven fabric, elastic. warp, the weft of cotton and/or
rayon threads spread with adhesive mass containing zinc oxide.
• Use: For securing dressings.
• Example: Flexoplast® Elastoplast®.
4. Plaster of paris bandage: It is a cotton cloth impregnated with dried
calcium sulphate and suitable adhesive so that calcium sulphate remain
adherent to the fabric.
• Packaging: It should be enclosed in container which prevent access of
moisture and damage by pressure.
• Uses: It is used for construction of body support.
11. B. Semipermeable Surgical Adhesive Tapes: It is water impermeable air and water vapour permeable plastic
film spread with an adhesive mass.
• Uses: It is used for covering dressings.
C. Impermeable Plastic Surgical Adhesive Tape: It consists of water-impermeable plastic film spread with an
• Uses: It is used for securing dressings, covering the site of infection where exclusion of a water and water
vapour is required.
12. Test for Sterility of Surgical Dressings and Sutures
a) On treatment with iodinated zinc chloride solution, the fibers become violet.
b) When examined under a microscope, each fiber is seen to be of single-cell up to 4 cm long and up to 40 μm
2. Fluorescence: Examine a layer about 5 mm in thickness under a U.V. lamp. having a maximum output of 365
mm. It shows only a slight brownish violet fluorescence and a few yellow particles, not more than a few isolated
fibres show an intense blue fluorescence.
3. Ether soluble substances: Not more than 0.5% was determined by this method. Extract 5 gm with solvent ether
in continuous extraction apparatus such as soxhlet apparatus for 4 hours. Evaporate the ether extract and dry
the residue to constant weight at 105°C.
4. Colouring matter: Slowly extract 10 gm in a narrow percolator with alcohol until 50 ml of extract is obtained.
Pour the liquid into a colourless glass cylinder and examine a 20 cm layer against a white background. A very
faint yellow shade may be observed.
5. Water-soluble substance: Boil 5 gm with 500 ml of water for 30 min, stirring frequently, and replace the water
lost by evaporation. Decant the liquid into a beaker, squeeze the residual liquid from the material carefully with
a glass rod, mix the liquids and filter the extract while hot. Evaporate 400 ml and dry the residue to constant
weight at 105°C.
14. Other Hospital Supplies
The equipment needed for the administration of parenteral drugs includes syringes and cannulas.
These devices must be sterile, pyrogen-free, and free from particulate matter.
There are four categories of syringe tips:
1. Luer-Lok Tip: It is stronger and permanently
attached to the syringe.
2. Luer Slip Tip: These do not lock in place. Due to
the pressure of injection, it may get displaced.
3. Eccentric Tip: It is used when the needle is to be
kept as parallel to the field of injection as
4. Catheter Tip: It is not used for injection but is
commonly used for irrigation.
15. I.V. Sets
These sets are used to administer IV. fluids. They are sterile, pyrogen-free, disposable relatively
inexpensive, and simple to use. The main disadvantage is a lack of accuracy. Methods other than
gravity must be used when accuracy is required in Pediatric therapy.
Components of I.V. Set:
1. A plastic spike: To pierce the rubber closure or plastic seal
on the IV. container.
2. A drip chamber: For trapping the air and adjusting the flow
rate with a clamp.
3. Clamp: Adjustable clamp of a screw or roller type pinches
the tubing to regulate the flow.
4. A polyvinyl chloride tubing terminating in gum-rubber
16. The flow rate should be accurate to ensure patient safety and optimum drug efficacy.
An inaccurate flow rate can cause:
(i) Phlebitis or thrombophlebitis.
(ii) Delayed or toxic response to drug therapy.
(iii) Metabolic problems.
(iv) Pulmonary edema resulting in impaired cardiac and renal functions.
Hence it is an important function of IV. Therapist to maintain a constant accurate flow rate.
Infusion pumps are electromechanical devices designed to automatically control intravenous infusion.
Four types of devices are available viz. Gravity feed controllers, drip-rate pumps, volumetric pumps, and syringe
Sterilization: The glass syringes are sterilized by dry heat in the oven whereas plastics (catheters, Ryle's tube)
and rubber material are sterilised by autoclaving or ethylene oxide. 16