Ousey, Karen and Wasek, Stephanie (2016) Clinician perspectives on medical adhesive-related skin injuries. Wounds UK, 12 (4). ISSN 1746-6814

Medical adhesive-related skin injury (MARSI) is a prevalent, under-recognised and preventable complication that occurs across all care settings, age groups and patient types, from healthy patients in ambulatory care, to patients with multiple comorbidities in critical care (McNichol et al, 2013). MARSI has been defined as “an occurrence in which erythema and/or other manifestation of cutaneous abnorma (including, but not limited to, vesicle, bulla, erosion, or tear) persists 30 minutes or more after removal of the adhesive” (McNichol et al, 2013).
When superficial layers of skin are removed by medical adhesive, the process may affect skin integrity, cause pain, increase risk of infection, potentially increase wound size and delay healing, all of which reduce patient quality of life unnecessarily (Cutting, 2008). In some cases, adhesives can also cause deeper tissue injuries beyond the loss of superficial skin layers (Denyer, 2011). Although the injuries caused by medical adhesives may look minor, care and management of MARSI has a deleterious effect on nursing resources. One recent survey that specifically explored injuries caused by medical tapes found that nurses treated these injuries approximately five times a week, an average of 7.8 times per patient, at a cost of approximately €1.23 (~£1.11) per treatment application — or ~€8.86 (~£7.99) per patient through to healing (Maene, 2013).

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