Send your tips, questions, and thoughts about tube feeding to: Tube Talk, c/o The Oley Foundation, 214 Hun Memorial MC-28, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY 12208; or email@example.com. Information shared in this column represents the experience of the individual and should not imply endorsement by the Oley Foundation. The Foundation strongly encourages readers to discuss any suggestions with their physician and/or wound care nurse before making any changes in their care.
Skin Protectants and Dressings
I went to a wound center because of skin breakdown caused by leaking around my tube, and they gave me Marathon™ Liquid Skin Protectant. This is the first thing that has stayed on long enough to help and is thick enough. It’s sort of painted on using a single-dose applicator so it’s easy to cover skin areas that are not smooth, and it’s okay to use it on irritated skin. I was able to get it on Amazon. I’ll admit it’s a little pricey, but it’s been well worth it for me.
They also gave me super-absorbent pads called Optilock™ non-adhesive wound dressing. The Optilock can’t be cut (or the special insides burst out and make a mess…I speak from experience!), but I folded it around my J-tube and could just lay it flat over the site. The skin protectant was great in protecting my skin, but the dressing helped absorb the intestinal leakage.
I also use Mepilex® Lite wound care foam dressings with Safetac®. They are wonderful and easy to use since they stick right to the skin and I can cut them to go around the J-tube. They are actually easier (for me, anyways) to use than the Optilock dressing, but Optilock absorbs better. I was blessed that the wound care center nurses gave me some to try. They are somewhat expensive to purchase even via Amazon, but they are well worth it.
LifelineLetter, May/June 2013