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Non-sterile Tape and CVC/PICC/PIV label making


Seems like a silly issue,  however, our central catheter dressings do occassionally loosen at the edges and there is a tendency to use a few strips of non-sterile tape (paper or plastic or nylon) to hold down the edge.  The majority of the dressing is not at risk of exposing the exit site.   Our infection control specialist has shared several  referenced articles that clearly show that rolls of non-sterile tape carry bacteria and fungal growth that is definitely not health to patient skin.  We are asked NOT to use rolled tape on top of patient skin or over the edges of dressings.  Of course we do change the dressing when it is necessary and a loose dressing certainly should be changed. 


1)  What are others using for a paper or tape type label for their initial insertion and subsequent dressing changes?

(We often write on a short piece of white nylon tape with information about the dressing change (Date, initials, device  type/size,  length exposed) .   We find that the small strip of sterile tape available on the 3M dressing or Opsite 3000 is just too small  for an adequate label, the ink pen smears and easily falls off the dressing. )

2)  Do you have/use a small paper label in your insertion kits or custom dressing kits? 

3)  Do you have a house wide policy on use and abuse prevention for non-sterile rolls of tape?

4)  Have you considered a house-wide STANDARD for what to use for the label on VAD dressings?


Scott Gilbert, RN