Q. If someone is wearing a medical dressing made of gauze or a cloth bandage for a wound that his doctor advised he should not remove, can he wear it and keep it on, when he goes to the mikva (for Tisha Kavim tevila) or is it a chatzitza (interposition) ? How about wearing it on Shabbos when he goes to the mikva?
A. As far as chatzitza is concerned, when one is fulfilling tevila or immersion of Tisha Kavim, Horav Shlomo miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that it is acceptable, since he does not mind its presence. On the contrary, he welcomes the protection and medical benefit he needs and the bandage provides.
Regarding doing it on Shabbos and being concerned of possible s’chita (the Biblical prohibition of squeezing out the water from the bandage). Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 301: 4) rules that if someone was going to attend to a mitzva. such as receiving the presence of his master or teacher, he may cross over a water stream, as long as he does so with a ‘shinui’ or change, so he will remember not to squeeze out the water.
Nishmas Avrohom (4: 161: 1) quotes that Horav Eliashiv zt’l permitted washing hands or Netilas Yodaim on Shabbos when wearing a bandage, since he does not have any intention in washing the bandage or squeezing the water out of it.
Yet, he also quotes the dissenting opinion of R’ S’Z Auerbach zt’l. that if the dressing is not clean or one is fazed and bothered by its wetness. one should avoid making it wet. (See Piskei Teshuvos 301: 4; n. 40).
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that in both cases, one should cover the bandage with a folded plastic bag, or any other already prepared and available water repellent material. to avoid making it wet.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a