By Sandy Bentley-Williams, RN, BAN, CWOCN
Medical tubes are used daily in a variety of healthcare settings and their functions can vary greatly. Endotracheal (ET), nasogastric (NG) and chest tubes are typically considered “critical tubes” because they can be necessary to save and sustain some patients’ lives. However, any tube attached to a patient can be deemed “critical” if there is risk of harm or death to the patient if it becomes dislodged.
This simple definition alone underscores the importance of properly securing critical tubes, but unfortunately there aren’t guidelines established by a standard-setting organization, nor is it a topic covered adequately during clinical training. In an effort to provide additional insight and assistance, here are a few best practices for properly selecting and applying the right adhesive for successful critical tube securement. These tips are best practices only and all techniques should follow any existing protocols of your facility.
Selecting the Right Adhesive
While some facilities may utilize a pre-made securement device for longer-term tube securement, advances in tape technology over the past few decades make it a dependable choice while offering clinicians the ability to quickly and reliably customize securement to each patient’s unique needs.
To help evaluate what medical tape is best, clinicians have to determine: 1) What type of tube you are securing, 2) Where on the patient’s body you’ll be securing it and 3) How long the tube will be in place. [Read more…]