Securing Gastrostomy Tubes & Tape Sensitivity

Medical tape sensitivities & latex allergies can make a difficult situation even more difficult. Irritated, inflamed, and painful reactions can extend healing, create dressing challenges, and prevent caregivers from doing the tasks needed to make their patients comfortable.

We asked a 57 year old male suffering with ALS to take part in a product trial. He was ventilator dependent and had a gastrostomy feeding tube. Because of his history of sensitivity to tapes and adhesives, we felt that Hy-Tape would be an excellent choice for securing the gastrostomy tube. Prior to using Hy-Tape, he had experienced so much discomfort when other tapes were removed that he was hesitant to try anything different.

Where adhesives had previously been placed, his skin was irritated, inflamed, and painful. He is a nursing care challenge because other tapes did not adhere and increased skin trauma, causing severe discomfort. Because he received whirlpool baths twice weekly, a waterproof tape with an adhesive that helps prevent maceration seemed the ideal choice.

With his history of sensitivity to adhesives, we decided to first patch test with a piece of Hy-Tape. There were no visible skin reactions or signs of inflammation after 72 hours.

Although no skin prep is required for application, skin must be initially clean & oil free. We then applied the Hy-Tape strips to secure the gastrostomy tube as well as other dressing and tubes. After long-term use there were no skin eruptions, irritations, or physical discomfort for the patient. Caregivers were pleased the Hy-Tape stabilized the gastrostomy tube and held firmly in the presence of moisture and drainage. They no longer had to change the tape after each whirlpool, reducing his pain and the cost of supplies. The zinc oxide adhesive soothed his delicate skin and helped to reduce the risk of dermatitis and skin trauma. Drainage was washed from the tape, and it remained securely attached. Hy-Tape removed from the patients skin with without trauma to the skin.