There are many types of supplies needed for the care of wounds. These may be surgical, traumatic, infective or other types of wounds. Sponges and pads are perhaps the most commonly used items for this purpose. What are they?
Sponges and pads are terms sometimes used interchangeably. However, there is a marked difference in their nature and properties. As the name suggests, sponges have more absorptive power and can be ideal in managing wounds that have more oozing of blood, pus or other body fluids. Sponges are also used for applying ointments or creams on the wound. The use of a pad or a sponge is usually determined by the type and state of the wound.
Materials commonly used for making sponges and pads include cotton, polyester or rayon. Some types are made with all these three in varying percentages depending on the manufacturer and targeted use. When purchasing gauze supplies, it is important to specify the type.
Wound care pads and sponges are also classified according to their sizes which are made to fit the approximate size of the wound. The sizes range from as small as two by two inch gauze pad or sponge to as big as four by eight inches. Big traumatic or surgical wounds need the large size pads or sponges. Cutting a big pad or sponge to make smaller ones is not recommended because it creates loose fibers that contaminate the wound and cause delayed healing.
The number of layers (ply) is another thing to consider when purchasing wound sponges and pads. Wounds with more discharge need sponges with higher thickness.
There are many other types of pads and sponges in the market. If you are a health service provider or an end consumer, it is important to know the type of wound under consideration. One of the ways of knowing the best type of wound care pads and sponges is to ask your health care provider.