The Past, Present, and Future of Medical Bandages
The Past, Present, and Future of Medical Bandages

Humans have been injuring themselves and each other for centuries. As a result, the need to stop bleeding and deter infection has led to countless innovations in wound care throughout history. Of course, we aren’t finished yet—advanced medical film coatings and new technologies will continue to improve how we treat wounds into the future.

Here is a look at how medical bandages have developed over time, and how they may change in the coming decades.

Wound Care in the Ancient World

An ancient artwork of people applying bandages

The ingenuity of many ancient cultures still impresses us today. This is especially true of the ancient Egyptians, whose architectural, artistic, economic, and agricultural technologies were far ahead of their time.

Ancient Egyptians also worked tirelessly to understand human health and anatomy and to develop the very best medical treatments and practices. Advanced surgeons, the ancient Egyptians knew that blood was a vital substance in the human body and created several innovative ways to stop open wounds from bleeding and becoming infected.

One method, which is still sometimes in use today, was to use honey as both a bandage adhesive and a way to naturally kill bacteria. Another was to apply bits of moldy bread to a wound as a kind of early antibiotic and dressing for the wound.

Bandages in the Modern Era

Improvements in sanitation and medical technology over the centuries led to many of the wound care practices and products we know today. These look quite different than those used in ancient times.

The ubiquitous Band-Aid was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century. Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson came up with a way to produce flat strips of cotton and attach them to tape for an easy, quick bandage his wife could use. All Johnson & Johnson had to do was begin to mass-produce them and spread the word.

The Future of Wound Care

Medical film coatings are improving all the time, and new ways of fusing wound care and technology with an eye toward sustainability are changing the bandage landscape.

Flexible bioelectronics are some of the most exciting new technologies. While performing all the traditional functions of wound protection and medicine delivery, these bandages will also be able to monitor vital signs throughout the healing process, including oxygen levels and body temperature.

Transcontinental Advanced Coatings is a global leader in packaging and coating products, including those used in medical applications such as our inspire® Medical Film Coatings. We welcome questions about any of our products or practices; simply fill out our online form to get in contact today.