Adhesive Tape

Dangers of Adhesive Tape Use

Although tape may appear to be convenient, there are many disadvantages to the use of tape in association with IV’s. Skin reaction to medical adhesive TAPES and bandages appears to be primarily an irritant contact dermatitis, although many experience allergic reactions at the same time. 

Our research concerning adhesive TAPE found the following clinical comments (reference available upon request):

Tape can be a source of infection.  “A roll of adhesive TAPE may become colonized by organisms and contribute to intravascular catheter infections”. “The emergency, nephrology, and hematology/oncology wards have the highest levels of tape contamination. It is quite common for the operating room to be stocked with non-sterile adhesive TAPE rolls used for multiple patients”.

•“Skin tears and trauma with subsequent infection, particularly predominant in elderly patients associated with tape removal”.

•“Erythema, mild edema which because of prolonged occlusion of the hair follicle openings and sweat pores, produces a distinct follicular reaction”.  “It would seem there is a combination of traumatic reaction due to adhesive TAPE removal with some degree of primary irritation due to the chemical constituents of the adhesive TAPE”.

•“Adhesive TAPE sensitization may possibly cause sensitization to natural rubber (poly-isoprene) which may bring about cross-sensitization to the acyclic terpene group including turpentine, and sensitivity to various terpenic resins which are used in other materials, such as varnishes”.

Substances present in adhesive TAPE:  “adhesive TAPE is not only a complex compound containing many agents capable of causing allergic reactions but also that the composition of the various commercially available adhesive TAPE varies and that their formula usually is unknown”.

US Patent No. US 7,621,896