* Prices may differ from that shown
I volunteer regularly with St John Ambulance, and am very well acquainted with all the kit we have in our bags. What's very telling about the effectiveness of these plasters is that the kit bags in pretty much every division I've been on duty with (about 5) have either very few of these plasters in, or none at all.
We as individuals don't have to pay for the Kit in St John Ambulance First Aid bags, so it's not the price that is putting the equipment officer off buying them! If you were to buy them from St John Supplies however, they aren't too expensive at £4.74 for a pack of 100, and they come in all kinds of useful sizes, and a few not so useful sizes, but that is the way with most boxes of plasters I find! At almost 5p a plaster therefore, its definitely affordable!
The problem of course is with how good these plasters actually are. I have used them on patients previously, and they can be a complete pain to put on. I remember one incident where one plaster did that annoying thing where it folded and stuck together and I couldn't unstick it! The little paper cases they come in are also quite difficult to get into, especially in gloves! Once on the skin they stick fairly well, but are not really very waterproof, so tend to come off in the shower/when hands are washed. For a similar price you can buy other brands of plasters which are easier to use, stick better, and are more waterproof, and the fact we rarely use them shows there are much betters out there!
St John Ambulance Fabric Plasters
I currently work in a number of care settings as a day job and have found the majority of these settings use St John Ambulance first aid supplies, in particular plasters.
St John Ambulance fabric plasters come in a pack of 100, including various sizes and are priced at £4.94 from Amazon as buying them direct from St John Ambulance supplies works out more expensive as VAT is not included on the prices given. Therefore these plaster work out a fair bit more expensive than others on the market as supermarkets own are around the 80p mark for a box of 40.
The sizes of the plasters include:
* 20 x 2.2 x 3.8cm plasters
* 30 x 2.5 x 7.2cm plasters
* 20 x 3.8 x 3.8cm plasters
* 10 x 5 x 7.2cm plasters
* 10 x Knuckle plasters
* 10 x Fingertip plasters
I found the sizes and quantities of the plasters great as there are more of the more commonly used sizes which is not always the case with other brands, also the sizes were appropriate as they are not too big so that they will never be used are varied so that there will be a plaster that is right for the wound.
All plasters are individually wrapped and are completely sterile.
As said earlier I work in care settings and so infection control is extremely important. Two main points to be considered regarding infection control is that all cuts must be covered and hand washing is essential regularly throughout the day. I found these plasters were extremely sticky in comparison to other brands used and therefore stayed on a lot longer, which is good as I did not have to change the plaster as often and so the risk of infection reduced. Also due to high level of stickyness I found the plasters a lot better than ones previously used when hand washing regularly as they did not fall off immediately. However the plasters do start to fray throughout the day and due to them being fabric they can often look very dirty making them look messy and untidy and this can be very annoying as I was picking and unravelling the fabric.
I found the plasters fairly easy to use as the backings came off easily.
The plasters do contain latex so be aware if you have any allergies. Although I have skin allergies and also eczema and the plaster did not affect my skin at all which is extremely important to me when looking for such products .
In all I found the St John Ambulance 100 fabric plasters good as they are easy to use are in good sizes and can last longer than competitors however with them being fabric they can look messy and when they fray it can be very annoying. Also I find the price slightly high and would not pay that much for plasters for my own home and so would be better used in care settings.
St John Ambulance Fabric Plasters
I'm not sure why, but I'm quite prone to cuts and bruises. To make matters worse, I heal very slowly- meaning a small scratch can take weeks or even months to heal completely. I often use plasters to protect new cuts and keep them from braking back open. I found myself going through the little boxes of 40 assorted Tesco fabric plasters very quickly. I prefer fabric plasters because they are more breathable and flexible than standard plastic plasters. In addition, I occasionally have an allergic reaction to plastic plasters.
I decided to check the internet for a larger and/or cheaper option.
I bought a box of 100 assorted St John Ambulance Fabric Plasters from Amazon for £4.73 (with free shipping). In truth, this comes out more expensive than the ones from Tesco, but I though the different sizes might come in handy. The box contains the following:
*20 x Plasters (2.2 x 3.8 cm)
*30 x Plasters (2.5 x 7.2cm)
*20 x Plasters (3.8 x 3.8cm)
*10 x Plasters (5 x 7.2 cm)
*10 x Knuckle plasters
*10 x Fingertip plasters
The plasters come in a simple green and white box. Each plaster comes individually wrapped in a sterile paper packaging (like you would expect).
I use fabric plasters because I normally find they are the most flexible and comfortable option. However, these plasters are downright awful. They are extremely thick and rough; denim comes to mind. The plastic tabs are rather difficult to remove (ok, they are simple enough when you have both hands free, but a bit tricky when you are trying to do it one handed because your other hand is bleeding, etc.). They don't stick to my skin particularly well. I frequently have the smaller ones fall off for no reason what so ever. Within minutes of application, corners are starting to peel up and edges start to fray. The adhesive becomes downright useless if it gets wet. Despite the poor sticking quality, they frequently leave a nasty residue on the skin that is not particularly easy to remove. The thickness also makes these plasters incredibly warm. Even on very cold days I tend to sweat underneath these plasters. They do not seem very breathable either.
The thickness makes the fingertip and knuckle plasters a bit pointless. You finger's movement is so encumbered by the material that the specialty cut doesn't really make a big difference. So the knuckle plasters might be designed to allow your finger to bend, but it instead acts as a splint because the bandage material is so stiff. I could not type while wearing a fingertip plaster (I kept hitting multiple keys at once).
Additionally, these plasters have a rather strong "hospital" smell that lingers on the plaster for several hours (if indeed the plaster stays on that long). I can even smell that clinical smell on my skin after removing the plaster. A minor complaint is that these have a very orange tint to the flesh colour.
One thing I should mention: while writing this review I opened a number of plasters. Several of the knuckle and fingertip plasters had paper tabs that were much easier to remove. Also, the material of these ones were slightly thinner and smoother (still rather thick for a plaster, but an improvement over the others in the box). I can only assume they are changing the plasters. I have no way of knowing if these thinner few were the old or new ones. However, even these improvements (if indeed that is the case) do not make these plasters worth buying as they are still quite thick and rough and share the same adhesive and fraying issues.
All in all, these plasters rank among the worst I've ever used.
I also posted this review under the same name on ciao (with a picture).