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Tape may seem like an easy-to-understand topic without much information required, but that is not the case when it comes to medical tape. When you put something on your body, you want to make sure it's right. Once you find the right product it's also helpful to know how to properly use it.
We are here to help you with all of those things. We'll explain how to choose a medical tape as well, as some tips and tricks for proper application and removal.
Getting the Right Tape
There are so many different types of tape. To determine which tape is right for you, consider two main things:
- Do you have any allergies to tape or sensitive skin?
- What is the application?
With all the varieties of tapes it is important to know which tapes work well for Sensitive Skin. Choose a tape that is breathable, so that the skin doesn't become irritated due to moisture that is trapped. One option for a breathable tape is Tegaderm Transparent Dressing.
Another factor to consider is whether the tape has a light or strong adhesive. A strong adhesive may be what you want if you have a skin-type that most tapes don't stick well to, but if you experience irritation due to a strong adhesive, you may try a Paper Tape for a gentle option.
If you experience allergies to tape, the first thing you'll want to determine is whether you are allergic to the tape, the adhesive or latex. The easiest place to start is choosing a latex free tape. If a latex free tape still causes an allergic reaction, try a hypoallergenic tape.
Now, keep in mind that what this means is that the tape itself is hypoallergenic. It does not necessarily mean that the adhesive is hypoallergenic.
If you still experience an allergic reaction while using hypoallergenic tape, than it is possible that you are reacting to the adhesive in the tape. To prevent such reactions, use a tape with a silicone-based adhesive, such as the Kind Removal Tape.
Which tape you decide to use will largely depend on how you plan to use it. If the purpose is to hold a primary dressing in place, you may try a cohesive tape, such as Co-Flex or Coban. This type of tape sticks to itself and doesn't stick to the skin, so it's ideal for hairy arms or legs, as well as for pets and veterinary uses.
You may want to use tape that will stay in place while you shower or sweat. For this purpose, choose a waterproof tape, such as Hypafix.
Lastly, if you need a barrier from the elements to cover a wound, but you don't really need an absorbent dressing, try a transparent dressing, like Tegaderm.
Shoppers Tip: If you have a roll of tape that you want to replace and don't know much about it, use the filters on our website to narrow down the selection. Choose the color, size, etc., and then you can select by picture.
Tips for Proper Taping
- Always apply tape to a clean, dry surface. Clean the skin before application.
- Use a Skin Prep Wipe before application to make the tape perform better.
- Don't stretch the tape. Medical tapes are designed to be applied without any tension. Applying tension to some styles of tape could cause skin damage.
- Use enough tape. The tape should extend about a 1/2 inch beyond the dressing.
Removing Tape - Without the Skin
If you have sensitive, delicate skin injury can occur when the tape is removed. The prevent this, follow these simple techniques:
- Loosen the Edges of the tape first.
- Stabilize the skin with next to the tape with a finger.
- Pull slowly, starting at one corner, so that the tape is pulling away at an angle.
If you are using Tegaderm or another adhesive dressing, the removal will be a little different than the instructions above.
Shoppers Tip: If you are using a tape with a strong adhesive, such as sports tape or Hypafix, you may need some additional help to get the removal process started. Try an adhesive remover, such as Unisolve before starting the removal process.
Megan Weiler, Author
Are you or a loved one at risk of suffering from injuries due to falls? Many people have a high probability of suffering a major or minor injury when they are unable to retain their balance. Because of prior critical medical conditions, some are fragile enough to experience intense discomfort from even short falls.
What is the solution for preventing fall injuries? Reducing the risk of your parents or grandparents from falling and hurting themselves is a daunting task. It is not possible to keep an eye on them all the time and some seniors require special assistance due to their fragile health. Even fulltime caregivers are unable to be adjacent to someone who is at risk of a fall injury 24/7. But the one thing you can do, to make sure that you or your loved ones are protected from the effects of a dangerous fall, is to devise a suitable course of action!
This course of action should have two steps. First – prevent falls from occuring, and secondly, using injury minimizing products to reduce injuries.
If you want to save yourself or a dear one from the fall injuries, there are a few effective tips you could follow, to make sure that the disaster is avoided at all costs. Here are a few tips:
- See your medical practitioner: Seek an appointment with your doctor, and be open with him about all the different medications you are taking, both prescribed and over the counter. Your doctor might instruct you to stop taking some medications, which could have side effects that affect your balance and might cause you to fall.
- Exercise: Instead of a vigorous workout session, opt for a gentle physical activity, which would increase your strength, flexibility and balance, thus reducing the risk of a fall.
- Chose the right footwear: Your footwear is of critical importance if you want to avoid any injuries due to falls. Choose sensible comfortable shoes, with no floppy slippers or high heels in your closet.
- Remove clutter and ensure proper lighting: Make sure that the house floor is uncluttered with no newspapers, plant stands or unnecessary rugs presenting you with an obstacle course. Use non slip mats within the bathrooms and ensure proper lighting at staircases, corridors and in the other rooms of your house, to avoid any falling accidents.
- Non slip socks and non skid socks help avoid any falls that result from slipping on the floors of your home. Special gripping treads are position on the soles of non-skid socks that prevent slipping. Fall management slippers are also available, which help you to maintain balance.
- Walking canes are also very useful to help maintain balance and to support weakened joints and muscles.
Products That Help Prevent Fall Injuries
While the above tips will reduce your chances of suffering a fall, there are certain products available which safeguard against a major injury, resulting from a fall. These products are often categorized as " Fall Protection Products".
A great product that helps avoid fall injuries are hipster briefs. These products help buffer any fall to the hip with the use of foam inserts. Hipsters help to protect old injuries and safeguard against suffering from a new one. Floor cushions and cushioned bath mats are another good option, with super poles and motion sensor lights, helping you complete your product arsenal to prevent any falls in the future!
Padded floor cushions placed beside beds and bathrooms can also prevent or reduce injuries that result from a fall. These strategically placed cushions are position where falls are most likely to take place. The extra padding can be just enough of cushion to soften the fall to prevent a serious injury. Many of these cushioned mats also help to prevent slipping.
By following the above tips and using the products to avoid any falls you can easily safeguard yourself and anyone else against a probable fall.
Most of us can recognize a syringe, with a needle sticking out of a long plastic body. For many, it is one childhood horror that they can never forget! But while your early years may have been spent dreading a needle, your teens or adulthood might require you to keep a supply of syringes ready for a doctor prescribed medication. When you start your own family, you may need a syringe supply for a family member to treat a medical condition. In this case, not only do you need to forget your old dread of this small medical device, but will also need to know how to use it. Most importantly, you need to know that not all syringes are the same, and that they are used for different purposes.
Types of Syringes
Syringes are available in several different designs and varieties. Most syringes are disposable and many come with an attached needle or with no needle at all. You may select the size of the syringe by the volume of medication it holds. Below are images depicting the anatomy of a syringe and the anatomy of a needle.
Syringe selection is mostly based upon the volume of medication to be administered and the desired pressure flow. Volumes are usually measured in centimeters (cc) or milliliters (mL). Both types of measurements are equivalent in volume. A 1 cc syringe is the same as a 1 mL syringe. Large volumes of medication require larger syringe sizes. Lower pressure flows also require larger syringe sizes. The use of the syringe for injections, medical tubing or irrigation are also factors in syringe selection. A very common type of syringe is the U-100 insulin syringe and used commonly for diabetic medications. It is for one-time use only, and is thus, a very low-cost syringe. Below is an infographic depicting the size of the syringe matched with the use for the syringe.
A Luer Lock tip syringe is the most commonly used, as its needle removal and installation is quite easy and quick. The twist mount helps secure the needle to the syringe for greater safety.
A slip tip syringe is also very commonly used and allows the user to merely push the needle hub onto the syringe. A catheter slip tip is used mostly used with medical tubing like catheters or feeding tubes.
Use eccentric tips when you need to inject a medication parallel to the skin of the patient. It is also used when you want to inject into a vein on the surface, without the needle penetrating through both walls of the veins.
Catheter syringe tips are made with a tapered tip to allow tubing to slip on to the tip. Tubing easily slips on and off of the tip. The catheter syringe is used often for irrigation.
Needles have a simple design with an hub that affixes to the syringe. Attached to the hub is a hollow needle. The shaft of the needle comes in varying lengths measured in inches. The thicknesses of the needle is measures by gauge sizes. The tip of the needle most often has a beveled tip to provide easier cutting or puncturing. Many needles come with a cap to protect the caregiver during transition from packaging to needle use.
The criteria for selecting the right needle has three main considerations--gauge, length and use. Needle gauge is a measurement of the width or diameter of the needle. Length is a measurement from the hub to the tip of the needle. Needle use refers to how deep the needle must traverse to reach the best injection area. These injection depths are labeled as intradermal (dermis injections), subcutaneous (subcutaneous tissue injections) and muscle (intramuscular injections.
Selecting needles by the gauge size occurs by considering skin or hide thickness and depth of the injection. The needle gauge is a series of numbers in which the lower the number, the wider the diameter of the needle. The higher the gauge number the more narrow the needle. Wider gauges provide for thicker viscosity medications and support thicker skin penetration. The most common gauges are 26 and 27 that accommodate all three types of injections--intradermal, intramuscular and subcutaneous. See the Needle Gauge continuum below for more details.
Fine gauge needles offer less pain for the patient, while thicker gauges accommodate thick skin and higher viscosity medication. The thicker the viscosity, select a lower gauge number. Gauge numbers are arranged so that the highest number represents a smaller needle width while the lowest numbers represent the largest width. High viscosity medications would therefore use a wider width needle or a needle with a low gauge number.
Common needles vary in length from 3/8 inch to 3-1/2 inch. Needle lengths are dependent upon where the injection is being administered. Generally the deeper the depth of the injection, the longer the needle. Intramuscular injections require the longest needle lengths. Common needle lengths for intramuscular injections are 7/8 to 1-1/2 inches. Subcutaneous injections call for a 1/2 to 5/8 inch needle. Intradermal injections require a needle length of 3/8 to 3/4 inch. The 1/2 and 5/8 inch needles are the two most common needle sizes and span both intradermal and subcutaneous injections. Below are three graphics to help select which is the best needle for your needs.
Purchasing Syringes and Needles
When you buy syringes, it is very important that you know which one you actually need. Are you using the syringe with needle for intradermal injections, intramuscular injections or subcutaneous injections? The needle gauge and needle length selection is different for each type of injection. See the Needle Selection Continuum for Needle Gauge and the Needle Selection Continuum for Needle Length infographics displayed above. Below is a quick list of the selection criteria used for purchasing a syringe and needle.
- Volume of medication to be administered determines syringe size.
- Type of needle hub used determines syringe hub. (Luer Lock, Slip Tip, Eccentric Tip or Catheter Tip)
- Viscosity of medication determines needle gauge.
- Location of injection determines needle gauge and needle length.
Make sure you know your needs prior to shopping!