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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Children's Health Channel
Reported December 31, 2012

Saving Babies' Skin: Taking the "Ouch" Out of Medical Tape

BOSTON, Mass. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Can a piece of tape cause permanent injury and scarring?  If you ask some doctors and nurses who work with premature babies.  You might be surprised by what you hear.  A possible solution one survey has found the number one problem in neo-natal units.

We all know the feeling of ripping off a bandage, but what that adhesive does to us, is nothing compared to what it can do to infants. 

“Anything from just abrasion of the skin, to actually we’ve heard tearing ears off of babies,” Dr. Jeffrey Karp of Brigham and Women’s Hospital told Ivanhoe.

Medical tape removal results in 1.5 million injuries each year.  Many victims are preemies, like Iris, who rely on the tape to keep them attached to critical equipment.

“She had tubes and wires coming out of all different places,” Angie Thompson, Iris’s mother, told Ivanhoe.

“The problem is that neo-nats have very fragile skin and all these tapes have been tailored for adult skin,” Dr. Karp explained.

“It’s something we deal with every day at work,” neo-natal nurse, Corrine Pryor, told Ivanhoe.

Now doctors Jeffrey Karp and Bryan Laulicht of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have a possible solution.

Dr. Bryan Laulicht demonstrates, “So that’s the standard medical tape and that’s the quick release tape.”

Unlike regular medical tape, quick release tape is made up of three layers. The stress of removing the tape is in the middle layer, not on the skin.  So, the hope is, “It won’t cause any damage,” Dr. Laulicht said.

It is a simple idea that could protect a lot of babies like Iris.

Over the last two years, the researchers consulted with neo-natal doctors and nurses while they developed quick release tape.  It is made up of the same elements of consumer tape and medical tape. Dr. Karp tells us because of that it could be in hospitals relatively soon.

More Information

Click here for additional research on Saving Babies' Skin:  Taking the "Ouch" Out of Medical Tape

Click here for Ivanhoe's full-length interview with Dr. Jeffrey Karp

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Andrew Mcintosh at



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