Synthetic casting tape fiberglass versus polyurethane based bandages

The first synthetic casting tape developed was Fiberglass (or Fibreglass) based. It was widely acceptable until the development of a more advanced Polyurethane based synthetic casting tape. Polyurethane synthetic casting tape consists of a polyester-based cloth coated with Polyurethane water curable resin.

Why is Polyurethane based Synthetic Casting Tape Better?

Fiberglass bandage consists of glass fiber reinforced plastic, which causes skin, eye and respiratory irritation. When the cast is cut, the fiberglass particles can cause irritation in eye, skin and even affect the lungs of the doctor as well as patient.

Polyurethane based Synthetic Casting Tape is elastic and not brittle like fiberglass. It does not give any dust when cut, and hence does not cause any irritation to the doctor or the patient. It is also more elastic and conformable, hence easy to apply even at joints.

How to apply Polyurethane Synthetic Casting Tape?

In case of a fracture, make sure the skin is intact.

  • First paint the skin of affected area with Povidone Iodine solution or alcohol based sanitizer.

  • Apply Stockinette on the affected area, followed by Under Cast Padding.

  • With gloved hand, open the pouch and dip the bandage in clean water. Squeeze the bandage and then take it out of water.

  • Apply the bandage to the affected area with gloved hands.

  • There should be at least 3 turns on one another to give proper strength to the plaster cast. More turns can be given in weight bearing areas.

  • Set the fracture by aligning the bones and hold till dry. Heavy weight should not be put on the plaster cast for 30 minutes.

  • Care must be taken if any swelling occurs in distal part of fracture or increased pain is experienced, as it indicates that the plaster is too tight and must be cut open.

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