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Medical Adhesives and Patient Safety: State of the ScienceConsensus Statements for the Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Adhesive-Related Skin Injuries

McNichol, Laurie; Lund, Carolyn; Rosen, Ted; Gray, Mikel

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: July/August 2013 - Volume 40 - Issue 4 - p 365–380
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3182995516

Skin injury related to medical adhesive usage is a prevalent but underrecognized complication that occurs across all care settings and among all age groups. If proper technique for application and/or removal of adhesive products is not used, tissue trauma can occur, impacting patient safety and quality of life and increasing healthcare costs. Little guidance exists in the literature regarding appropriate selection and proper use of adhesive products to minimize medical adhesive–related skin injury, as well as best practices for skin care preventive strategies, application and removal techniques, and assessment and treatment of such injuries. In an effort to define best practices for prevention of such injury, a consensus panel of 23 recognized key opinion leaders convened to establish consensus statements on the assessment, prevention, and treatment of medical adhesive–related skin injury. The consensus summit was held in December 2012 and was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from 3M. This document details the consensus definitions and statements and identifies research priorities for development of new adhesive technologies and protocols for skin protection.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.The CE test for this article is available online only at the journal website,, and the test can be taken online at

Laurie McNichol, MSN, RN, GNP, CWOCN, WOC Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cone Health System, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Carolyn Lund, MSN, RN, CNS, Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, Children's Hospital, Oakland, California; and Associate Clinical Professor, School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco.

Ted Rosen, MD, Professor of Dermatology, Baylor College of Medicine and Chief of Dermatology, Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas.

Mikel Gray, PhD, PNP, FNP, CUNP, CCCN, FAANP, FAAN, Professor and Nurse Practitioner, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Correspondence: Mikel Gray, PhD, Department of Urology, University of Virginia, PO Box 800422, Charlottesville, VA 22908 (

The content of this document is intended for general information purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical or legal advice.

Laurie McNichol, Carolyn Lund, and Ted Rosen are standing members of the 3M Skin Integrity Advisory Board. Carolyn Lund is also a member of the 3M Gentleness Test Methods Advisory Panel. Mikel Gray acted as a paid moderator for the Consensus Panel's deliberations.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

© 2013 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.