The information below outlines the steps for changing your dressing. Follow any additional instructions your doctor or nurse gives you.
To change the dressing, you need:
- Sterile gloves
- A face mask
- Cleaning solution (such as chlorhexidine) in a single-use small applicator
- Special sponges or wipes that contain a cleaning agent, such as chlorhexidine
- A special patch called a Biopatch
- A clear barrier bandage, either Tegaderm or Covaderm
- 3 pieces of 1-inch wide tape, 4 inches long (with one of the pieces torn in half, lengthwise)
If you have been prescribed a dressing change kit, follow the instructions for using the supplies in your kit.
Prepare to change your dressing in a sterile (very clean) way.
- Wash your hands for 30 seconds with soap and water. Be sure to wash between your fingers and under your nails.
- Dry your hands with a clean paper towel.
- Set up the supplies on a clean surface, on a new paper towel.
Remove the dressing and check your skin.
- Put on the face mask and a pair of sterile gloves.
- Gently peel off the old dressing and Biopatch. Do not pull or touch the catheter where it comes out of your arm.
- Throw away the old dressing and gloves.
- Wash your hands and put on a new pair of sterile gloves.
- Check your skin for redness, swelling, bleeding, or any other drainage around the catheter.
Clean the area and catheter.
- Use one special wipe to clean the catheter.
- Use the other wipe to clean the catheter, slowly working away from where it comes out of your arm.
- Clean your skin around the site with the sponge and cleaning solution for 30 seconds.
- Let the area air dry.
To place a new dressing:
- Place the new Biopatch over the area where the catheter enters the skin. Keep the grid side up and the white side touching the skin.
- If you have been told to do so, apply a skin prep where the edges of the dressing will be.
- Coil the catheter. (This is not possible with all catheters.)
- Peel the backing from the clear plastic bandage (Tegaderm or Covaderm) and place the bandage over the catheter.
Tape the catheter to secure it:
- Place 1 piece of the 1-inch tape over the catheter at the edge of the clear plastic bandage.
- Place another piece of the tape around the catheter in a butterfly pattern.
- Place the third piece of tape over the butterfly pattern.
Throw away the face mask and gloves and wash your hands when done. Write down the date you changed your dressing.