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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:08 pm 
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I tried searching on this but it seems the search index doesn't go back very far. Forgive me if this has been discussed, I couldn't find it.

Anyway, I picked up an izzy today that is marked with an expiration date of 2010. How does a bandage expire? It doesn't seem to me that a sealed bit of cloth/cotton would really have a typical expiration period.

Same question goes for Asherman chest seals. The guy I got my stuff from today had a box of them marked with an expiration date of 2003. I balked at grabbing any due to that date.

Is there any real "expiration" to a bandage?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:13 pm 
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Bandage most likely not as it has nothing that degrades over a limited time span.

Chest seals on the other hand have an adhesive that could break down in a limited time span.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:40 am 
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The expiration dates printed on ETDs are a joke. There is no reason why they shouldn't be good for many years past that date. I'm guessing they print them on there because often times when things are sterilized, there is set period of time that it is guaranteed sterile. Maybe the date is there to indicate when the ETD is no longer guaranteed sterile, but in any case it doesn't really matter. Like ovationman said, adhesive in the ACS will degrade over time, but they too will probably be good for several years past the exp. date IMO.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:51 am 
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Yep the expiry dates are the point that the manufacturer can guarentee the stirilatzation process. Yep your bandages are still good as long as the seal is not broken, but I would replace them anyway ( I would make a second FAK, with longer expiry dates in one - sort of use one now, save one for later.)
I hope that helps a little.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:09 pm 
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I have bandages that are from a eastern europe communist country (Czechoslovakia) that say 1988 that I assume is the expiration date, I opened a couple of them and they seemed just fine, so I dont think you will have to worry
Adhesives are another story the tape that was in it has absolutely no adhesion left.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Adhesives do of course degrade eventually, but I can attest to the exceptional longevity of "first aid" brand bandages that came in the first aid kit of a year 2000 c-class Mercedes. If you look at the picture below, the FAK is located under the rectangular flap just in front of the middle brake light under the back window. It's a horrible location because the sun beats on it all day and the black fabric only makes it worse. Anyway, I opened up the FAK to see what was in it and the first thing I noticed was that the clear plastic case had turned dark brown. There was sticky residue all over which was from tubes of neosporin which had exploded. The boxes of Band-Aids had turned from white to brown and the paper packaging of the sterile 4x4s had peeled off and curled up. It looked like someone had put the kit in an oven set just a few degrees below the auto-ignition temperature of paper. Everything was pretty much trash, but before throwing a way the 1 inch bandaids I decided to unwrap one to see if they still stuck. Low and behold, they held just as well as any new bandage from Wallgreens. So moral of the story is, the adhesive on little generic band-aids last a long time in very adverse conditions :) .

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:18 pm 
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I had some Band Aid brand adhesive bandages from before they used the "two thin pieces of paper glue together" form of individual packaging (so im guessing they are well over 15 years old). The adhesive was...nonexistent.

Also found some 4x4's left over from the early 90's, Johnson and Johnson Hospital grade. The outer packaging was intact but the adhesive was barely holding on. The pads were fine, a little yellow but still clean.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:47 pm 
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exon111 wrote:
The expiration dates printed on ETDs are a joke.
...


What does ETD stand for in this context?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:00 pm 
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http://www.bestglide.com/Emergency_Bandage.html


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:24 pm 
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Anyone have any experience with working with sutures with expired dates?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:42 pm 
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jnathan wrote:
exon111 wrote:
The expiration dates printed on ETDs are a joke.
...


What does ETD stand for in this context?



Emergency Trauma Dressing. Same thing as the IZZY, or Israeli bandage.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:54 pm 
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The Ron wrote:
Anyone have any experience with working with sutures with expired dates?


I am not sure I would want to use anything this is truly supposed to be sterile when it is expired. A bandage only really needs to be "clean" but something you stick into your skin would really be sterile for obvious reasons.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:29 am 
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The Ron wrote:
Anyone have any experience with working with sutures with expired dates?


I've never used expired sutures, but if the packaging was in good condition and it's all you had, I think it might be okay depending on what type of material it's made of. Something synthetic like nylon would probably be good for a long time, but absorbable sutures probably start to break down eventually. I'd certainly want to avoid biological sutures like catgut. With that said, you'd be better off buying some in-date sutures to avoid this problem all together.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:53 pm 
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The Ron wrote:
Anyone have any experience with working with sutures with expired dates?


I've used expired nylon sutures on dogs several times without issue.

No experience with internal sutures or use of expired sutures on humans though.

Also, the expo date on items like bandages (especially the vacuum packed ETD's) is a joke.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Sutures are designed to stay inside the body and keep a wound closed.

Therefor they should be sterile and since the expiration date is the time period that sterility is guaranteed by the manufacturer if the packaging isn't opened or damaged you should only use non-expired sutures.

If a sutured wound gets infected, al of the junk inside can't get out and stays inside the wound. Then you need to go to the hospital where they remove your stitches again and start you on antibiotics.. If you aren't dead from sepsic shock already :wink:


Suturing is one of those things that should be done either sterile or not at all.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:52 pm 
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C'm on Sutures are sealed,so they are not very likely
to contract more Germs then any Wound you are abot to sew!

So where`s the Problem?

The actual expirance date of most Drugs is about 25 years
after the Date stamped on(acording to the WHO)!

So be cool :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Data please.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:09 pm 
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Eisenbart wrote:
C'm on Sutures are sealed,so they are not very likely
to contract more Germs then any Wound you are abot to sew!

So where`s the Problem?

The actual expirance date of most Drugs is about 25 years
after the Date stamped on (acording to the WHO)!

So be cool :wink:


25 years is a little long IMO, but that can be true for certain drugs depending on storage conditions. For the most part, expiration dates have more do with increased profits for drug companies than the actual expiration. If you look around on google you will find a lot of info to back this up.

http://www.medletter.com/freedocs/expdrugs.pdf (if you aren't familiar with the Medical Letter, it's one of the most well known journals in the field of pharmacology so it's definitely trustworthy)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:25 pm 
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By North Carolina law, the expiration date printed on a Rx label is one year from the date the Rx was filled. Most pharmacists will tell you the actual date on the master container used to fill a particular script, but you need to ask them (they can't/won't do it automatically).

It also pays to shop around. When I was replacing my EpiPens, I found stock that ranged from as little as seven months remaining to as much as 15 months.

Jim

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:57 pm 
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So apparently I shouldn't be too concerned with the exp dates unless they are very much expired. Makes sense. Thanks for the help to everyone who answered my question. :D


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