If you are post-operative or recovering from an injury, you may be discharged from the hospital with a supply of dressings and instructions on how to change the dressing to ensure the best environment in which for the wound or incision to heal. This guide is meant to supplement, not supersede, any instructions you receive from a medical professional; if there is any discrepancy, please follow your doctor's instructions.
Removing a bandage can be a messy business. Wounds and incisions can produce fluids such as blood and plasma as they heal, and without proper sanitary procedures, these fluids can contaminate your living area. It's helpful to protect your living area with an absorbent covering such as a CHUX blue pad.
Choose a location for your procedure where you can place the bandaged area over a clean, hard, non-porous surface. Cover the surface with a CHUX pad. This will provide a comfortable staging area for the procedure and simplify cleanup. Also prepare yourself with a supply of clean gloves, whatever items supplied to you for changing your dressing including gauze, tape, wound-cleaning agents, cotton-tipped applicators, etc., and a large plastic bag for waste. All the supplies you need should be prepared and at your fingertips before you begin.
Wash your hands and put on your first pair of gloves. Remove the old dressing (you may need to cut it away) and dispose of it in your trash bag. Immediately remove and throw away your gloves as well, and wash your hands. You must do this without delay to prevent any contaminants from the dressing from reentering the wound or any other sensitive area. Dispose of your CHUX pad. Clean the area; you can gently clean it with soap and water, shower without your dressing, or use the cleaning agents supplied by your doctor. Check the area for signs of infection, and contact your doctor if the wound seems infected. Medical news suggests speed is essential to treating infected wounds. Allow the area to thoroughly air dry.
Once the wound is dry you can apply your new dressing. Again, set up a fresh CHUX pad, dressing supplies, and a disposal area. Once the new dressing has been applied, you can simply roll up the used pad along with any packaging materials that need disposal, throw it away, and clean the hard surface underneath with an antibacterial spray cleanser; any body fluids will have been safely contained by the pads.