How to Use Sterile Gauze to Stop Bleeding and Prevent Infection

Sterile gauze for wounds

Sterile gauze is the basic tool used to stop bleeding and keep wounds clean. It treats small to medium cuts, burns, scrapes, and other wounds. It also protects the area from dirt and debris that can cause wounds to get infected.

Combined with medical tape it makes a versatile bandage for wounds of all shapes, sizes, and locations. Using a roll of gauze instead of pads gives you a lot more flexibility with respect to the size and location of the injury.

Keep a pair of scissors in your first aid kit, and you can make any size bandage.

Don't worry about the bandage becoming non-sterile. As long as it's kept clean, the risk of infection doesn't increase[1].

How to Use:

  1. Cleaning the wound: Soak some gauze in Betadine or other disinfectant, and gently clean the cut to remove any dirt and kill bacteria.
  2. Covering the wound: After the wound has stopped bleeding, smear a layer of B&W Ointment over it and cover it with gauze. Use medical transpore tape to fix the bandage in place. Change the bandage at least once per day.


  1. Keeping a pair of foldable scissors, trauma shears, or a multitool in your first aid kit lets you easily cut the gauze to size or shape.


  • Stops bleeding, prevents infection, and cleans wounds.
  • Buy gauze in a roll instead of as a pad


  1. Lawson, Carol, Lynn Juliano, and Catherine R. Ratliff. "Does sterile or nonsterile technique make a difference in wounds healing by secondary intention?." Ostomy/wound management 49.4 (2003): 56-8.

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