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Tour of a First Aid Kit

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Updated September 18, 2011

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Gauze
Gauze

Gauze helps stop bleeding with its porous surface.

© Rod Brouhard
Gauze comes from a material similar to cheese cloth. Its porous fibers trap blood and hold it still long enough for clots to form. By promoting clots, it helps stop bleeding.

The most common types of sterile gauze pads are four inch square patches commonly called "four-by-fours." Buy them individually wrapped rather than in bulk for best results.

Heavy duty injuries may require something a little bigger than four inches on a side. Thick five inch by nine inch pads are used in surgery and often referred to as "abdominal pads." Even larger wounds may need "trauma dressings" for complete cover.

Another option is to use roller gauze. Roller gauze can be tied around an arm or leg to control bleeding without using tape to hold the gauze in place.

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