- Meet Consumers/Patients
|Tube Talk: Taping Techniques|
LifelineLetter, November/December 2015
Send your tips, questions, and thoughts about tube feeding (enteral nutrition) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information shared in this column represents the experience of the individual and should not imply endorsement by the Oley Foundation. The Foundation strongly encourages readers to discuss any suggestions with their clinician before making any changes in their care.
Shown below are different methods to give your skin a rest from having tape on it at the same place every day, or even for a few days. Applying tape at different places every day using methods 1–12 will give your skin almost two weeks to recover from having tape on it. Moreover, if you use methods 13–16, there is never tape on your skin. Not all of these methods may work for you, but most should. If the same number appears twice in the drawings, it means two pieces of tape are suggested.
If in method 6a there is not enough tape to adhere well to both gauze and skin, consider method 6b, where a strip of tape has been applied just to the gauze, then the tape above it is applied partially on it and partially on the skin.
A technique for not placing tape next to the main gauze is shown in methods 10 through 12. In methods 10 and 11, small, extra pieces of gauze are placed next to the full-sized gauze and tape ties them all together. The smaller pieces of gauze protect the skin next to the full-sized gauze. This technique can also be used with most of the other methods. You can cut a single piece of gauze into several smaller pieces, thus getting several days’ worth of extensions from it.
For method 12, with the adhesive side up, lay out a long strip of tape, as shown in the drawing. Then apply two shorter pieces of tape to it so the adhesive sides face each other. When you lay the longer strip across the gauze, the shorter pieces will provide a gap next to the gauze with no (or very little) adhesive on the abdomen next to the gauze. It works. Of course, you can use this spacing technique with most of the other tape methods. However, it can be challenging.
In methods 13 and 14, the two “legs” of the gauze are crossed. Where they cross, there will be two layers of gauze, making the absorption even better. Incidentally, there is not a compelling reason for the slot of the gauze to be at the top.
If methods 13, 14, 15, and 16 work for you, then there is never tape on the skin! The gauze can’t fall off, but it can rotate.
I avoid having tape immediately under the slot of the gauze because I assume it would retard drying. I figure air drying is best. If you have not tried paper tape, it may be worth a try. It works for me.
—Richard Reynolds, email@example.com