What is a Bandage Roll?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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A bandage roll is a cloth usually made of 100 percent cotton gauze. It serves as a cushion to protect the site of a wound. It can be used either as a primary dressing or secondary dressing, depending on the extent of the wound and the quality of the bandage. Available in varying sizes, the type of bandage roll to use depends on the characteristics of the wound. Application is best administered by a trained first aid provider.

Bandages should hold the dressing in place and conform to the contours of the wound area as much as possible. If used as a primary dressing, it should be highly absorbent to promote fast healing and to better protect the wound. A bandage roll should be available in a first aid kit alongside adhesive bandages and other first aid supplies in case of minor injuries.

There are different types of bandage rolls based on material, usage and features. An elastic bandage primarily is used to stop bleeding and reduce swelling. It also helps support a sprain in some cases. As a secondary dressing, this bandage roll also aids in holding splints and sterile pads in place using bandage clips.


Another type of bandage roll is cast padding, which is used to provide cushioning for a plastered wound. Cast padding usually is made of viscose fibers that help protect the skin from swelling. It conforms to the body's contours and allows the patient to move the affected body part freely. The material also allows breathing space for the wounded skin, avoiding irritation and maceration, which is the damage caused when moisture is trapped against the skin for a prolonged period of time. Cast padding is best used as a leg bandage, arm bandage, ankle bandage or shoulder bandage, especially for patients who have sensitive skin.

Made of either natural or synthetic non-woven fabrics, orthopedic padding is a type of bandage roll used to protect the bulging bone of a wounded body part. It is soft and smooth and conforms to the shape of the wounded area. Unlike regular bandage strips, it has low moisture-retention to prevent the formation of ridges on the wound as well as possible skin maceration. It often is used directly on the wound under a casting material, so it has to be hypoallergenic and cushioned in order to prevent skin irritation.

Also used to protect exposed bones and nerves, under-cast padding is a type of bandage roll that is made of soft, elastic and non-absorbent polyester fiber. Under-cast padding is self-adhesive for easy application. It mostly is used to dress large wounds.


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