Australian Wound Dressing

Like any other military, the Australian Army issues sterilised wound dressings to its men and women to allow immediate treatment of wounds in the field. The dressings are provided in the same sterile packets as those used by NATO, however they are produced in a green colour, rather than the tan we are more familiar with:

The front of the packet has the NSN number and details of manufacturer, expiry date etc:

The rear has details on how to use the dressing:

All military personnel are trained in first aid, and the Medical Journal of Australia provides this explanation of how Australian battlefield care works:

The signature weapon during recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan was the improvised explosive device, often packed with bolts or nails designed to increase its effectiveness. While improvements in body armour have increased survival rates for those injured by such weapons, wounds to the face, legs and arms in survivors are more complex. For those wounded on the battlefield today, the 10–1–2 rule applies: control of haemorrhage and opening of the airway are undertaken within 10 minutes of wounding, advanced resuscitation within an hour (either in transit or in a health facility), and surgery within 2 hours. All non-health personnel receive “care of the battle casualty” training, facilitating immediate first aid by colleagues, often while still under fire. This includes controlling catastrophic haemorrhage by applying arterial tourniquets and haemostatic wound dressings, clearing the nasopharyngeal airway, and dressing penetrating chest wounds. Forward surgical health facilities undertake immediate triage, resuscitation and assessment, including whole body x-ray computed tomography if required, before initiating damage control surgery. Fluid resuscitation is guided by the 1 : 1 : 1 (red blood cells : plasma : platelets) principle. Damage control surgery aims to control haemorrhage and to debride obviously devitalised tissue before performing further resuscitation in a forward intensive care unit (ICU) and evacuation to a higher-level facility. Negative pressure dressings facilitate frequent debridement of contaminated wounds.

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