Introduction: Pantiliners/maxi-pads As First Aid Bandages

Picture of Pantiliners/maxi-pads As First Aid Bandages

Since pantiliners are designed to absorb a woman's monthly menstrual blood flow and vaginal discharges, they make ideal first aid bandages. In addition to their high absorbency, they can cover a wide skin area and provide extra protection for the wound. Finally, they are quite inexpensive, making them ideal for environments where the dressings have to be changed often, ie: kitchen, construction, etc. They can also be used to provide additional bandage options for first aid kits, survival kits and Bug Out Bags.

Canada did a study on the use of pantiliners and sanitary napkins for wound care:
The panty liners, sanitary napkins and Coban tape studied were cheaper than, and had a comparible sterility with, the sterile gauze examined.

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts

1. Pantiliners - you can get 20 for about $1.50 in drug stores
2. Duct tape

Step 2: Take Pantiliner Out of Pouch

Picture of Take Pantiliner Out of Pouch

1. Each pantiliner comes in its own pouch.
2. Take the pantiliner out of the pouch.
3. Cut a few pieces of duct tape to secure the pantiliner.

Step 3: Remove Adhesive Strip

Picture of Remove Adhesive Strip

Remove adhesive strip. Since pantiliners are designed to be changed daily and adhere to women's underwear (with the pad facing upwards to catch the bloodflow), the adhesive to hold it in place is not particularly strong, but is helpful when used in combination with the duct tape.

Step 4: Duct Tape to Wound

Picture of Duct Tape to Wound

Use duct tape to secure the pantiliner to the wound.

Step 5: Fingertip Bandage

Picture of Fingertip Bandage

After a deep cut to my thumb, I used a part of a maxi-pad (can also use a pantiliner) and duct tape to make a full cover that could stand up to daily use.


tamismith (author)2016-03-11

actually feminine products were originally designed for wound care during WWl or WWll

matt392 (author)tamismith2016-03-11

You are right!
When nurses in France realized that the cellulose bandages they were using on wounded soldiers absorbed blood much better than plain old cotton, they started using them for their own flow.

Magzzee (author)2016-03-07

Excellent & cheap idea, TYSM!

matt392 (author)Magzzee2016-03-07

Thank you and you're welcome! Hope it helps. To be honest, it was not entirely my idea; various versions of this have been floating around the Web. It is the first on though. :-)

matt392 (author)grannyjones2016-02-26

Tampons might be just as good and much less expensive. :-)

grannyjones (author)matt3922016-02-26

A tampon will work in a pinch, but fibers may separate. Remember toxic shock? You want it all out. A tampon may plug a bullet hole, but it is not ideal.

Karen LoBach (author)2016-02-24

I have used the pantliners several times after surgeries. They are absorbent and changing numerous times per day is not as expensive as the gauze pads. They also have a plastic backing so they don't leak threw clothing. I have had infections that need to drain and they work great for them.

matt392 (author)Karen LoBach2016-02-25

Karen -
That is great to hear! I am working on an Instructable that will use Maxi Pads to cover a wound with a tube extruding from it, very similar to what you used them for. I will try to get it out soon.

hiwakoo (author)2016-02-23

I have been using Tampons in Patientens while changing their stoma dressing/pouch (I'm not shure if the words are righ) we inserted the tampon partway in the protruding part of the intestins to prevent leaking during cleaning and changing. Very helpfull. i Think you could use pamtieliners as well as coolpack, soacking in water (alcohl) and cooling in the fridge, no direkt kontact to open wo und of course.

matt392 (author)hiwakoo2016-02-23

I will make another Instructable on using pantiliners as a coolpack soon and give you full credit for the idea.

matt392 (author)hiwakoo2016-02-23

Those are great ideas! Thank you. The coolpack would be great since the pantiliners can hold a good deal of water.

hiwakoo (author)2016-02-23

german autocorrection and english spelling make bad compenions, sorry for bad orthografie

YourMagesty (author)2016-02-20

About 25 years ago my husband had kidney surgery, which
required a drain tube from his back for a time; try keeping that covered...with the tube sticking out. And, it leaked
around where the tube came out, as well as the tube itself. It was way
too expensive banking that with 'regulation' bandage materials, for as often as
it had to be replaced. Wracking my brain on what I could use, while in
the drug store, I finally thought of menstrual pads..strong ones; they were
perfect! I'd make a slit halfway thru the side to accommodate the tube, place
the absorbent side against his skin, make the two parts meet again on the other
side of the tube, and tape the pad in place on his back. When his surgeon
saw this, he chuckled, but said it was a VERY good solution! And it was!
It lasted a long time between a changes, (where before 'normal' gauze pads began to saturate almost immediately), quite affordable, and my
dear husband didn't mind at all. Was grateful, in fact, not to
have the mess.

matt392 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-20

Wow! That is a fascinating story - and a great hack. Very inventive use of materials on hand. Maybe we can turn it into an Instructable? On that note, did you tape the tube to the pad? Or just the tab to the surface of the skin?

YourMagesty (author)matt3922016-02-20

Just to the skin. I used a surgical paper tape so it wouldn't pull against his skin sensitive after so many fresh pad applications. I tried so many regulation bandage products, even the large Chux, once I had cut them down a bit. The area wasn't large, just leaking, and I thought the Chux on top of multiple layers of gauze or other materials would stop it; nothing did until the thickness of a menstrual pad.

matt392 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-21

Thank you! Great information. i will start planning an Instructable on your hack. Don't worry, I will give you full credit for the idea!

YourMagesty (author)matt3922016-02-21

Matt, no credit needed, truly. I'm glad if folks find it beneficial to keep on hand for greater absorption.

matt392 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-21

Ok, will do. I will buy a tube from Home Depot to imitate a tube coming out of the body. Just to be sure, the tube was going through the menstrual pad, correct? And the fluid from the tube was going into another receptacle, not the pad, correct?

YourMagesty (author)matt3922016-02-22

A) Matt, save your gas and use a normal straw to test, (drinking straw, not milkshake straw). (same diameter as normal straw, approx. 1" long including both visible and hidden portion of tube).

B) I used scissors to cut, from the middle of the side, to the exact middle of the pad. No poking thru pad possible due to its plastic barrier within, and thickness of pad.

C) I can't remember what I placed over the tube opening at first, probably some small, water-proof bandage knowing the pad would attract and store fluid. Follow-up visit, revealed surgeon's stitching hadn't held, tube protruding in loose manner. Once repaired to correct depth, pad laid comfortably atop the tube. Fluids from skin opening and tube contained, ALL WAS WELL!

matt392 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-22

Ok, sounds good. I will start working on it. Thank you for the information!

matt392 (author)matt3922016-02-21

Just started the draft of the Instructable. It is entitled: "Maxi-Pads as Bandages for Seeping Wounds With Tubes".

Boomer1 (author)2016-02-20

If you keep maxi pads in your first aid kit, they will do a good job on serious wounds. And you might end up being your wife, or girlfriend's hero... Just in case.

I've heard of people say tampons are good for plugging bullets wounds. "And are even carried by medics in Afghanistan."

But, several soldiers and a Ranger medic have told me that this tale is nonsense. Medics, Corpsmen, and civilian EMT's carry battle dressings, wound dressings for a reason. Plus, tampons are notorious for shedding fibers once saturated and would complicate matters with a wound full of stray material.

matt392 (author)Boomer12016-02-20

Excellent points about keeping pads in the first aid kit. Though I must admit that if I were shot in the street, I would rather have someone put a Ramon in the wound than nothing.

YourMagesty (author)matt3922016-02-21

A "Ramon" ???

matt392 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-21

Oops...smartphone spellcheck. "Tampon" not "Ramon".

YourMagesty (author)matt3922016-02-22

Guess what, Matt? There IS a bandage developed by the Israeli Army called: The Ramon! Because I didn't know your term, I googled it and found this amazing product, so your spell check fail resulted in a very beneficial gift! DO check it out? : )

Boomer1 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-22

That is a really clever and effective looking system. A search looks like the 4" would retail for around $6.

SRQ Sid (author)2016-02-20

A little off-topic... Here in Sarasota Florida the city constructed very small housing units for the homeless to use at no cost .

They are called "Stay Free Mini Pads"

Sorry, could not resist. Yes, it is a joke.

Flame Shields UP!

YourMagesty (author)SRQ Sid2016-02-21

That is both hysterically funny and endearing. Any compassion shown the homeless is to be lauded! CONGRATULATIONS SARASOTA! Way to go!

matt392 (author)YourMagesty2016-02-21

It sounds like excellent social policy.

matt392 (author)SRQ Sid2016-02-20

Well, it is not really that off topic. Mini pads in Sarasota are providing relief to the homeless, mini pads provide relief for women's vaginal discharges/menstrual flow and they can provide relief for skin wounds!

Magzzee (author)2016-02-19

Awesome! TYSM for sharing!

matt392 (author)Magzzee2016-02-19

You're welcome! Hope it helps.

neopolitan (author)2016-02-18

I am a male, but I am fairly certain panty liners were never designed to "absorb a womans monthly flow"!!! More of a peri/non-menstrual type product...

matt392 (author)neopolitan2016-02-19

You are correct. Panti-liners are designed to handle both vaginal discharge and bloodflow from the period:

alloydog (author)neopolitan2016-02-18

Pant-liners, aka sanitary towels, were developed during the First World War specifically as absorbent pads to stop bleeding. Female nurses then found them very useful as panty-liners so they could continue working during their menstrual period.

matt392 (author)alloydog2016-02-19

You are correct. Panti-liners are designed to handle both vaginal discharge and bloodflow from the period:

BeachsideHank (author)neopolitan2016-02-19

The euphemism used by pantyliner suppliers is "light days" to differentiate them from heavy flow period types that would probably be better for more serious wounds, still the liners might be good for post- op wound care too.

matt392 (author)BeachsideHank2016-02-19

Excellent points. The sanitary napkins with the wings also some with extra adhesive for using to cover wounds. Will look into it as another Instructable.

Pumuggel (author)2016-02-19

One should just never forget that panty liners are - different to their counterpart in first-aid-kits - not sterilized. That's ok for their originaly intended use but should be kept in mind if used on wounds (always ;-) check for infections). They are, however, much better than any other stuff like paper towels, Kleenex or handkerchiefs. I will definitely put one or two in may EDC kit, especially as each singele one comes that neatly packed.

matt392 (author)Pumuggel2016-02-19

The Canadians did a study on pantiliners/sanitary napkins and found that they were comparable to sterile dressings for wound care:

matt392 (author)2016-02-19

Thought this list of uses for tampons in a survival situation would be of interest. Tampons are quite versatile tools:

About This Instructable




Bio: Occupation: Tech Support
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