I can tell you right now that I know I don’t have enough gauze pads for a real emergency situation or grid-down scenario. And chances are that, unless you’re an ER doctor or sell gauze pads for a living, you don’t either.
While I like to think that I’m prepared because I have more first aid supplies than I know what to do with, gauze pads are a different story. Any nurse or doctor that regularly deals with treating major wounds will tell you that gauze pads need to be changed quite often and are used up very, very fast. Like bandages, gauze pads simply cannot be reused.
While there are possible backup alternatives such as cut to size and sterilized linens or old cotton t-shirts, when it comes to maintaining proper wound hygiene the last thing you want to do it to contaminate an open wound because you didn’t have the proper supplies.
Fortunately, this problem can be easily alleviated by purchasing gauze pads in bulk. I’m not talking about dozens, I’m talking about hundreds to thousands! Really. You could easily use hundreds of gauze pads on a single wound. And, if you have to deal with more than one would or multiple people with similar wounds, your gauze supplies will be exhausted quickly. Think about it.
You’ll also want to have an assortment of sizes, such as 4″x4″ and 5″x9″ pads listed here:
- GAUZE PAD SPONGE 4”X4” 12PLY NON STERILE 1200 PCS
- ABD Combine Pad Non-Sterile 5″ x 9″ (Case of 576).
It couldn’t hurt to have gauze rolls and plenty of adhesive tape too:
- Non-Sterile Stretch Gauze Rolls 4″ Bulk 96/cs
- 3M Micropore 1/2″ x 10 yd. White Surgical Tape – Box of 24 rolls
Unfortunately, the aforementioned gauze pads and rolls are not sterile. You’ll also want sterile pads as well. These are more difficult to obtain in large bulk purchases (and certainly more expensive) so you’ll probably want to purchase fewer sterile pads than non-sterile but please ensure that you DO HAVE them on hand because they will be used during the most critical healing time. Here’s a few examples: DKL1412 – Sterile Gauze Pads, 4×4, 12 Ply, 100/BX, White and 5″ X 9″ Sterile ABD Pad – 20 Pads. You might also do a quick Google Search for “sterile bulk gauze” for other sources.
By the way, here’s one of the videos I watched some time ago that got me to thinking about this very issue: