One of the most common wound dressings is the simple gauze bandage. The goal of these products is to protect the affected area from dirt, bacteria and other outside organisms, while maintaining a moist environment and still allowing air to circulate.
Gauze has been used as a wound dressing for centuries, and continues to be the most readily available wound dressing in use today.
Gauze is Comprised of woven or nonwoven rayon, polyester or cotton. Non-woven dressings result in stronger pads with improved fluid wicking properties, compared to woven dressings. Gauze is available with or without adhesive border and may come in sheet, rope, rolls or squares.
Gauze can be non-impregnated and impregnated. Gauze May be impregnated with water, normal saline, hydrogel, or substances such as iodinated agents, petrolatum, zinc compounds, crystalline sodium chloride, aqueous saline, etc. Some impregnated gauzes have antimicrobial properties. They may also help prevent exposed tendons from dehydrating or adhering to the primary dressing.
Gauze is used to dress Partial or full-thickness wounds. Non impregnated gauze can be primary or secondary dressing while Impregnated gauze most often is used as a primary dressing.
Depending on the specific brand of gauze, it can manage minimal to heavy exudate.
Moist saline gauze may be used for mechanical debridement, filling dead space or cover the wound. Disadvantages - can damage granulation tissue on removal, may dehydrate the wound, permeable to fluid and bacteria. Impregnated gauze - is less adherent to wound bed or graft, keeps wound moist, not absorptive.
Non-impregnated gauze such as moist saline gauze (i.e., wet to dry dressings) have fallen out of favor for use on the chronic non-healing ulcer as it can damage delicate granulation tissue on removal and may dehydrate the wound. A moist gauze adheres the necrotic tissue as it dries out, allowing the necrotic tissue to be removed when the dressing is removed. However, this method of debridement is not universally liked, for a number of reasons. It is nonselective, meaning that the gauze may remove granulation tissue as well as necrotic tissue. The gauze often becomes embedded in dried exudate, making dressing removal painful.
Gauze is permeable to fluid and bacteria. Impregnated gauze is less adherent to wound bed or graft, keeps wound moist and does not absorb wound fluids.
Gauze dressings can be used on both infected and non-infected wounds of any size, shape, depth, or etiology.
The disadvantages of gauze are as follows:
Gauze may desiccate wounds with minimal exudate
When cut, woven gauze can leave fibers in the wound, acting as a foreign body and perpetuating inflammation
While these dressings are inexpensive, they require frequent changing and ultimately incur higher cost due to care time and the volume of product used
Pricing and Suppliers
Is it covered by Medicare Part B?
Gauze impregnated with water or normal saline is non-covered by Medicare. Non impregnated and impregnated gauze with something other than water, normal saline, hydrogel, or zinc paste is covered provided requirements are met. Medicare has guidelines that establish what is considered medically necessary and how often an item can be used.
How can I purchase this product?
If you have coverage through Medicare Part B, you may be eligible to have this product covered by Medicare. You will need a written order prescribed by a provider enrolled in Medicare, so that you can purchase this product at a Durable Medical Equipment store that accepts Medicare. You will need to pay deductibles and co-payment. The actual co-payment amount varies according to your state. The table below shows the highest (ceiling) and lowest (floor) expected co-payment across the country.
If you do not have Medicare Part B or do not meet the requirements needed for coverage, you can find this product at pharmacies and medical supply stores. When available, please see pricing in "Other Stores" below.
The table below shows highest and lowest Medicare pricing across the country
|Description||Medicare DME co-payment Min / Max
|Packing strips, non-impregnated, sterile, up to 2 inches in width, per linear yard||
$0.39 / $0.46
If your insurance does not cover this product, you can purchase it directly from any store. A list of online stores and prices is provided below for your convenience. For updated prices, find it on the internet at https://woundreference.com/app/product?id=2648
* Indicates whether store accepts Medicare or commercial insurance, but may not apply to this specific product. See coding, coverage and reimubursement for more information.
The information on this handout is for your convenience and educational purposes only. All product claims and specifications are those of the product suppliers. It does not constitute medical advice or a guarantee for reimbursement. Prices may have changed and suppliers may not have product in stock. Please confirm accuracy and appropriateness of information with insurance carrier and product supplier. Clinician and WoundReference assume no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products and insurance coverage.