With the promotion of health concepts, a lot of people prepare some basic medical supplies in their homes for emergency use. Some people think cotton tipped swabs are used for disinfection, but some other people also use cotton tipped swabs to pick ears, make up, etc. However, many people don't know that cotton swabs can bring counter-productive effects if not used correctly.
First of all, we will introduce the most basic use of cotton tipped swabs: disinfection. Let's take skin disinfection as an example. We take the part to be disinfected as the center, and disinfect the part in the same direction. The diameter should reach more than 5 cm. A cotton tipped swab can only be used once, or it may cause cross infection.
1. Another common function of cotton tipped swabs: Press the wounds. There are two pressing methods:
One is normal pressing to stop bleeding, such as hypodermic (vaccinations) and intramuscular (buttocks) injections. Apply parallel pressure to the wound with a cotton tipped swab.
The other is longitudinal pressing. Take intravenous injection (blood test) as an example. The general insertion of the needle is: Pierce the needle subcutaneously from the top or side of the vein, and then dive into the vein along the vein direction. For this kind of pinhole after withdrawing the needle, it looks one wound from the skin surface, but in fact, there are two wounds. If you don't press the wound right, the skin around the pinhole will look blue and purple. It's actually caused by a bruise inside your skin. Don't worry about that. The bruises will spread themselves in about a week. At this point, you should press your cotton tipped swab lengthwise along the vein.
2. Time of pressing cotton tipped swabs
The time of pressing the cotton tipped swab is also exquisite after withdrawing the needle. In general, for people who are well clotted and not taking anticoagulants before the age of 40, five minutes of pressing is enough. For people who are over 40 or on anticoagulants, it may takes ten minutes or longer. It depends on the individual situation.
3. Contraindications of pressing cotton tipped swabs
The most contraindicant behavior is to check whether the wound is bleeding after pressing the medical cotton swab for two minutes to take a look at the flow of blood. Under normal circumstances, as long as you hold pressure for less than five minutes, the wound will bleed. Taking away the cotton tipped swab from time to time will only cause blue and purple bruises around your skin.
1. Pay attention to the shelf life of medical cotton swabs
Medical cotton tipped swabs are usually packed in double-layer paper. The cotton tipped swabs are pasteurized under high temperature and pressure, and the shelf life is usually two weeks if they are unopened. However, in humid areas in the south, or during the plum rain season in spring, the paper is susceptible to dampness, which allows bacteria to penetrate the inside of the packaging. Therefore, the shelf life of cotton tipped swabs at this time is likely to be only about a week.
2. Do not use special household cotton tipped swabs for wound disinfection
General families don't use cotton tipped swabs very frequently. They are also unable to re-sterilize the left cotton tipped swabs that are remained 24 hours after opening. Therefore, it is recommended to use those cotton tipped swabs as ordinary cosmetic cotton swabs, or discard them. Do not use them for wound treatment, especially for baby wound treatment.
Sterile cotton applicators are essential for skin disinfection, and the contamination of sterile cotton applicators can lead to wound infection. Some people don't think it serious if the sterile cotton applicators are contaminated by bacteria, because finally the cotton applicators are stained with some of the disinfectant such as iodine volt and alcohol. They don't know that disinfection and sterilization are two different concepts. Disinfection is to kill pathogenic microorganisms on articles; sterilization is the complete elimination of all pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, including spores, on articles. Sterilization involves disinfection, and disinfection is not a substitute for sterilization. That is to say, although disinfectants such as iodine and alcohol can kill pathogenic microorganisms, if the medical cotton swabs are not sterile but carry spores and other microorganisms, the disinfectants has no effect on them. The spores can even contaminate the disinfectants. Therefore, ensuring the sterility of cotton applicators is an important measure to prevent infection.
3. Proper storage of cotton tipped swabs is important
When storing medical cotton tipped swabs, ensure that the package is sealed. It should also be noted that medical cotton tipped swabs should be stored in a well-ventilated room with the relative humidity of less than 80% and no corrosive gases. High-temperature environment should be avoided.
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