Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Great Value of Steri-Strips

Steri strips come in a variety of sizes for different uses. Although there are a few generics, this is one time when I prefer the name brand when possible.

                    Steri strips are sterile, packaged light paper tape impregnated with stringy fibers. They are used by physicians and nurses when sutures are removed to give an abdominal wound, for example, a little more strength at the skin level until it heals completely.

                   Steri strips have a very important use for preppers, and yet they are very rarely mentioned.   Many, many, times, someone develops a wound, and because it is not a clean wound, or it cannot be completely cleaned, as in an animal bite, it should absolutely not be sutured closed.  When this type of wound occurs, rather than suturing or leaving completely open, a compromise would be to contain the bleeding, then soak the wound in betadine and water (or betadine and 0.9% saline you have mixed yourself) and then afterward, pat dried the wound, and let it completely dry, and then secured it as best you can with steri-strips.  Steri strips can be placed across the wound leaving untaped portions in between each steri strips which allow for serous or other wound drainage. When they eventually come off, they can either be redone or the wound can be allowed to continue healing.  In such wounds, a wound dressing over the steri-strips would probably be best.

This is an example of how they should be applied.

    I really like steri-strips because they help to avoid unnecessary suturing, and because they minimize scarring.  It is also possible to place neosporin or other topical medications when needed over top and to the sides of such a wound.

     I own several sizes of steri-strips.    It is possible to purchase some from Amazon or from many other sources.

There is one additional thing that nurses are taught.    To improve steri-strip adherance, one can take a sterile swab and place tincture of benzoin, not near the wound itself, but on the skin where the steri-strip should anchor. Often, this is not done, but I can remember a number of times in the hospital that this was necessary. It is also recommended by 3M, the manufacturer.   Do not get tincture of benzoin in the wound itself.

Please add this to your emergency kits.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous New Year.

As always, I have no financial gain from the products I recommend here on Rational Preparedness, unless disclosed otherwise.