I’m sure most of us have seen intravenous dressing reactions. We may have also witnessed the responses to such reactions from dressing companies. The response I disagree with the most is “not allowing the cleaning solution to dry”. I have even heard this response to a dressing reaction following a PICC placement. I can be pretty slick at putting in PICCs… however, I not sure if anyone is that quick… that they can place the PICC and apply the dressing long before the cleaning solution has dried!
What could be going on? My favourite theory relates to shear forces. We learn about shear forces when preventing pressure area damage. So how could a shear force be applied with an IV dressing. To put it simply, I think we have a tendency to stretch dressings when we apply them. I think this shear effect could be the cause of some of our dressing reactions. In particular, if you notice dressing reactions and blistering associated with the edge of the dressing… you may want to consider stretching the dressing during application as a potential cause.
Finally, remember… this is opinion not science!