Covering up Medication Patches

  1. 0
    Hello friends,

    Just wanted to get your take on how you handle medication patches that won't stay on, or get missed when they should be taken off.

    I find with nitroglycerin, fentanyl patches, etc. they often get lost. Either lost on the patient, or lost off the patient. Meaning they should be taken off, but are left on because they are not seen, or you go to take on off, but can't find it... not knowing how long it may have been off.

    I've been told to never totally cover medication patches because it can cause them to heat up and increase the rate of absorption. Others say tagederm is ok because the patch can breathe through this. I've also seen covers come with some patches. Personally I have taken to getting about a 2 inch piece of silk tape and writing the med and date on it, then taping it to about 1/3 of the patch itself. My pharmacy seems to think this is ok, but recently I had a doc question it. I like it b/c you can't miss it, and it does help hold the patch on, but doesn't cover it completely.

    Just seeing if there are any better, safer, ideas out there.
    Thanks!
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Where I work we only cover Fentanyl patches. We use a clear op-site cover.
  5. 4
    The nurse who applies the patch should document in the MAR where he applied it. That way the nurse who has to remove it knows where to look. And we cover it with an opsite, too. Saying that increases absorption by increasing heat is splitting hairs. There's a million ways one could increase heat. Should the pt not wear a sweater? Should we forbid her from sitting in the sun? Some people like to fabricate problems where there are none.
    Hygiene Queen, prinsessa, Dazglue, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    I don't see why a window frame of tape would be an issue with absorption but I am going to look up the info on Micromedex. Agree with BrandonLPN that id of site is impt and worrying about heat may not be as impt.
  7. 1
    We use opsite or Tegaderm to cover patches.
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  8. 0
    Moved to Nursing and Patient Medications for more response.
  9. 3
    Sandoz will send the patient free bioclusive patch covers if they send away for them. My mom and dad are both on the fentanyl patch and they both get them sent for free. If the manufacturer recommends covering them I can't see how anyone else can go wrong with covering them.
    KelRN215, merlee, and loriangel14 like this.
  10. 0
    Never cover a patch. had a patient code once because someone covered high dose fent patch with a telemetry pad pre op. please leave the visable.
  11. 1
    Quote from moorefun11
    Never cover a patch. had a patient code once because someone covered high dose fent patch with a telemetry pad pre op. please leave the visable.
    There is a huge difference between a clear cover and a tele patch that you cannot see through. I would question the person putting a flipping tele patch on top of anything but skin. How exactly did they expect the lead to work and once the person got into the operating theater and the arm or leg lead didn't work, didn't someone question it?

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    DSkelton711 likes this.
  12. 0
    I either use opsite (clear so date/time placed is showing) or micropore if patch due for a change soon and it's only a little bit coming off. I find patches that are placed on the back seem to stay longer, I presume because the patient is usually sitting down against the back of a chair, or is laying in bed on the back.


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