Why Getting the Right Tape for Your Patient’s Wound Matters

The Right Tape for Your PatientLittle aspects could delay or even prevent wound care and cause skin injury. That’s why documentation is so important in wound care, and an efficient and customized wound EMR comes in handy. It is important to select the right tape for the patient, as incorrect use or use of the wrong kind of tape could cause injury to the skin and hamper wound healing.

The All-important Tape

The medical tape has the function of providing the initial stick, increasing adhesion, and staying intact. Since the initial stick isn’t capable enough of staying in place, pressure must be applied to improve adhesion. The tape must then stay intact. To remove the tape, emollient products such as lotions or adhesive removers can help remove the tape without causing injury to the skin. The right tape must suit the ambient conditions, or else moisture could prevent the adhesive from getting fastened to the skin while oil secreted by the sebaceous glands could cause the tape to peel off.

Tape-related injury, known as MARSI (medical adhesive-related skin injury), is the result of the tape separating, stripping, or tearing the epidermal layers. And as the tape is removed from the skin, erythema could occur. While stripping, if the tape has greater strength than the layers of the skin, it could cause the superficial dermal layers to be removed. If the tape pulls epidermal layers apart, blisters may form. Skin tears could occur if the tape is removed with tension, causing friction.

The Right Tape for Your Patient

Selecting the right tape depends on your assessment of the patient. You need to examine the skin at the part of the body where you need to secure the tape and find out if there is hair as well as sweat and sebaceous glands, which could impair the adhesion of the tape. You then need to identify the kind of skin the patient has – dry, moist or fragile skin. Based on this analysis you need to decide whether to use a breathing tape, one that secures firmly, or one that can be gently removed.

  • Analyzing the purpose of the tape is also important. If you need the tape for a dressing on a joint that moves, you need a soft cloth or foam tape that could stretch.
  • Some other applications, such as securing an endotracheal tube on a face that’s moist require a cloth tape which would remain intact.
  • Sometimes, patients having edematous skin, neonates, and older adults need a strong tape even if their skin is fragile.

As we saw, factors such as friction, movement of that part of the body, flexion, and tension all play a part in selecting the right product which would prevent dressings from being peeled off, a tube from getting dislodged, or the epidermal layers from separating.

Wound Documentation with Wound EMR

Documenting the wound is a very important aspect of treating it. Members of the treatment team really need to ensure they comprehensively document the wound at various stages of the treatment process to ensure efficient decision making. That’s where a wound care EMR really helps.

Unlike a regular EMR, wound EMR comes with templates designed specifically for wound care. This enables nurses and physicians to enter the details easily without having to scan through various kinds of templates. Retrieving information too is easier. It facilitates quicker and clearer communication between the members of the care team which would be vital for ensuring that the right treatment decisions are made and the quality of wound care is improved.