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February 27, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: Tape like a pro


It's easy — if you have the tape pros use.

Since my very first day as an anesthesiology resident at UCLA, way back in the century past, I've used 3M Transpore™ tape (above) every single day, for every single case.

And I will until they tear this wonderful product out of my cold dead gloved hand.

Tape to an anesthesiologist is like heat to a cook: it's what you work with, all the time.

So the right tape is critical.

Believe me, there are a variety of tapes available in any anesthesiology department's storeroom.

But the one we use routinely is 3M Transpore™ — the 1" roll.

I put 4 fresh rolls in my cart every morning and go through most of them during the course of a single day.

Here's why:

• It's easy to use even with gloves on, our usual M.O.

• It's clear so you can see what's going on under it, i.e. — is there bleeding from the I.V. site?

• It tears bidirectionally, easily, into very thin strips, in a straight line

• It's thick enough so you can quickly find the end, even when there's craziness and panic happening

• Made of polyethylene film, it's hypoallergenic and latex-free so you don't have to worry about this problem, either in yourself or your patient

• It's called "Transpore" for a reason — it's porous to moisture, so skin under it doesn't get all white and wrinkled and moist

• It sticks very well, but not too well — you can remove it without taking skin off (though it'll still hurt)

I use it to tape in my I.V.s, keep eyelids closed, secure the endotracheal tube and esophageal stethoscope, attach the surgical drapes to the I.V. poles, and a million other things that crop up in the O.R.

I've always gotten mine free as a "perk" (self-administered) of working in the O.R.

If you know someone in the business have them bring home a roll — I guarantee you'll love it.

If you don't have a source or simply feel better paying for it you can get many different widths here.

Try a single 1" x 10 yd. roll for $1.95 and take it from there.

It comes in sizes ranging from 1/2" wide to 3" wide, but I've always found the 1" to be just perfect for almost everything.

Among its myriad uses around the house is cord control; it won't remove paint.

February 27, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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this tape makes killer freezer tape

Posted by: rob | Feb 28, 2005 10:28:12 PM

*looks at stethescope*
hey, that tape looks familiar!
oy, I'm a dork.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 28, 2005 12:44:45 PM

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