Let’s be honest, these items don’t need an introduction. We have all used tapes since we were kids, be it for a school project or wrapping a gift for a friend. Tapes are an extremely useful item, that can be used anywhere from stationary to saving lives. Surprisingly, that is exactly what we are discussing today, the use of adhesive tape in first aid. But, before we talk about all that, let’s talk about the history of tapes for a moment.
A Brief Introduction to Adhesive Tapes
Adhesive tapes were first invented in 1845 by a surgeon by the name of Dr. Horace Day. Day applied a rubber adhesive on a strip of cloth to use it during surgeries. From there, tapes saw widespread applications and constant development, from companies like 3M, Johnson, and Johnson, etc. In the modern world, there is hardly any industry that doesn’t use adhesive tapes for day-to-day tasks.
What is a Medical Adhesive Tape?
A medical adhesive tape is broadly assigned a term to any kind of adhesive tape that can be used for medical purposes. Due to the development of new kinds of material and adhesives, tapes have differentiated a lot based on their application.
Types of Adhesive Tapes Used for First Aid
For medical purposes, you can divide adhesive tapes into five types-
1. Surgical Tapes
Commonly known as the Doctor’s Tape, this is a adhesive tape made of paper. The general application of this item tends to be sticking gauze, bandages, and other kinds of dressing firmly against the skin. These are hypoallergenic, thus, perfect for sensitive skin or people with allergies. It is also very cheap, compared to other types of tapes, and is available anywhere.
As the name suggests, these tapes are transparent and contain small pores inside them, allowing for good breathability. They provide excellent adhesion to skin & are mostly used in medical emergency vehicles. It is made of polyethylene.
3. Cloth Tape
These tapes are made of woven clothes which provides excellent breathing space for the skin. It is not used directly on the skin as its adhesive properties are not very compatible with it. Mostly, medical emergency personnel uses it to secure splints. It is not flexible like a transpore and does not stretch at all.
4. Waterproof Tape
The waterproof tape has a special adhesive that is invulnerable to the effect of water. Making it ideal to apply on dressings or body parts that are more prone to come in contact with moisture and water. These are excellent if you have to shower without changing your dressing every time. However, due to the strength of the adhesive on these tapes. They are a bit difficult to get off.
5. Kinesiology Tape
Unlike the other tapes, these are not used to secure wounds or dressings. Rather, it is used on muscular injuries to promote healing by increasing the blood flow.
When to use adhesive tape:
Adhesive tape can be used in a variety of first aid situations, including:
1) To hold a bandage in place: Adhesive tape can be used to hold a bandage in place, especially if the bandage is large or difficult to keep in place on its own.
2) To protect a wound: Adhesive tape can be used to protect a wound from dirt, water, and other contaminants.
3) To support an injured joint or muscle: Adhesive tape can be used to support an injured joint or muscle, helping to reduce pain and inflammation.
How to apply adhesive tape:
To apply adhesive tape, first clean the skin around the wound. Then, peel off a small piece of tape and apply it to the skin, making sure that the adhesive side is facing the skin. Press the tape firmly in place to make sure that it adheres to the skin. If the tape is not sticking well, you may need to clean the skin again or use a different type of tape.
How to remove adhesive tape:
To remove adhesive tape, first loosen the edges of the tape with your fingers. Then, peel the tape off the skin slowly and carefully. If the tape is difficult to remove, you may need to use a mild soap and water to loosen the adhesive.
Use of Adhesive Tape in First Aid - FAQ:
Q1. What is adhesive tape used for in a first aid kit?
Ans- When it comes to first aid, the most common use of adhesive tape is to secure dressing to the skin. They can also be used to provide structural support to damaged muscles or joints.
Q2. What is in medical tape adhesive?
Ans- Medical tapes often come in direct contact with skin and sometimes may also come in contact with wounded surfaces. To ensure that there is no negative reaction, the adhesive used in the tapes are made from hypoallergenic medical-grade adhesives, like silicon, acrylic, and rubber.
Q3. Can you put medical tape directly on wound?
Ans- They can be used directly on the wound since they are specifically made from bio-inert materials. However, there is much more that you need to keep in mind while covering a wound, like absorption and taking off the tape. For example, many tapes are porous, to allow the skin to breathe, but in case of an open wound, such tapes will allow the blood to pass through it. Or, if you apply the tape directly on the wound, you most probably will damage or reopen the wound while removing the tap, as it will rip off the top layer of the scab along with it.
- Last updated on May 30, 2023