Variety of skin tone bandages now offered at an Ontario hospital


Published March 27, 2024 at 8:45 am

skin tone bandages hospital ontario

An Ontario hospital is now offering a variety of skin tone bandages.

This week The Ottawa Hospital announced it will offer the bandages to better suit the diverse population it serves.

Bandages were originally designed to match white skin. The commonly known brand “Band-Aid” was invented in 1920, according to a history posted on the Band-Aid website. But it wasn’t until 2021 that the bandage brand released Band-Aids to match brown skin tones.

It was a trip to the pharmacy and seeing the skin tone bandages that led the hospital’s director of medical imaging Ellen Odai Alie to bring the idea to her workplace, according to a story posted on The Ottawa Hospital website.

“I thought, ‘If these bandages are available at a chain drug store, why can’t they be available at our hospital?’” Alie says in the story. “It may seem like a small thing, but when I put the bandage on, it made me feel valued. For the first time in my life, a bandage matched my skin tone — it was a powerful and emotional moment. What this bandage says is that someone thought about me.”

The Ottawa Hospital says they are one of the first in Canada to adopt these inclusive bandages.

They call it a small but important step to more inclusive care.

“With The Ottawa Hospital making these bandages available to all our patients, my hope is that many other health-care organizations across Canada are going to do the same,” Alie says.

For more information on The Ottawa Hospital’s initiative, visit the website here.

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