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Types of Medical Gauze and Telfa Dressings

How to Choose Medical Gauze

Medical gauze is a light material intended for post-surgical wound applications or deep wound healing. In this introduction, we will concentrate only on sterile gauze. Many medical gauze applications are for direct wound placement and maintaining a sterile environment is paramount for healthy, uninhibited healing. The gauze dressings can be medicated or impregnated with antiseptic or made for wound debridement -- specifically in cases where the wound is large and the incidence of necrotic tissue may be present. The two general categories of gauze are made from woven and non-woven materials.

  • Woven Gauze: typically means that the gauze contains layers of woven cotton layered together into multiple ply sheets.
  • Non-Woven Gauze: Non-woven gauze is usually synthetic material made to look like a woven dressing yet maintain the same aeration ability.

Non-woven dressings are usually non-adhering. They will not leave residue, because they are synthetic and non-fibrous. They are like a film and make it more comfortable during the removal process. Many have a weave-like pattern to prevent pooling of exudate as well as having a perforation to allow a secondary dressing to absorb. They can be both dry and wet, meaning they may just be a sterile, dry contact layer, or they are impregnated with petrolatum, antiseptic, or another 'wet' substance to speed healing and kill bacterial.

Petrolatum: - Maintains a wet healing wound environment.
Saline Dressing: - Good for heavy exudate as the saline heightens rate of moisture wicking.
Hydrogel Gauze: - Maintains a moist environment and nurtures damaged vessels or burn areas.

How to Choose a Telfa Dressing

Telfa dressings are specialized gauze pads that can either be used for primary or secondary woundcare applications. These dressings have specific qualities to give them unique advantages over regular gauze pads. Telfa dressing is similar to regular gauze in that it is made of cotton fabric. However, unlike regular gauze pads, there is a coating on both sides of the dressing to keep the material from sticking to the wound when placed directly on the wound opening. This non-adherent dressing is made for treating lightly draining wounds. It comes in variations that make it an all-in-one option, or as part of a layered woundcare dressing treatment involving either a primary or secondary dressing with a wrap to secure it to the skin.

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