Is iodoform gauze supposed to be dry?

We have some. We’re supposed to use it on my husband’s wrist. For some reason, I expected it to be wet but it’s bone dry. Is it supposed to be?

Yes, it comes dry. It should be faintly yellow-brown and have a bit of a chemical odor.

Thanks, brossa. It’s definitely dry, yellow-brown, and chemically!

I guess it was the surgeon who kept saying, “We need to keep this from drying out” that got me thinking the gauze was supposed to be wet or damp.

I love the Dope!

Well, I don’t know the specifics of your situation, but iodoform is frequently used for packing of a contaminated open wound. If the wound is wet already (like sloppy, not just moist) then the iodoform can be put on/in dry. If the wound is just moist, the iodoform is often moistened (just damp, not sopping) with saline before application. If your surgeon was concerned about the wound drying out, this may be more in line with what s/he intended - it doesn’t hurt to ask.

“Wet to dry” dressing changes are a bit of a misnomer; more like ‘wet but not dripping to damp but not bone dry’. A moist wound heals faster than one that dessicates. If the wound is soupy, you may want a drier dressing to soak up some of the slop with each change. What fun!