Your doctor or nurse will show you how to place a new dressing.
Change your dressing every 2 to 3 days for the first week. Change it more often if it gets dirty, wet, or becomes loose. After the first week, change your dressing once a week, or more often as needed.
You will need some supplies when you change your dressing. These include: Telfa (the dressing material), Tegaderm (the clear plastic tape that holds the blue plastic ring in place), scissors, split gauze sponges, 4-inch x 4-inch gauze sponges, tape, connecting tube, hydrogen peroxide, and warm water (and a clean container to mix them in), and a drainage bag (if needed).
Always wash your hands well with soap and water before you remove the old dressing. Wash them again before you put the new dressing on.
Be careful when you take off the old dressing:
- Do not pull on the drainage catheter.
- Keep the blue plastic ring against your skin.
- Check to see that the sutures (stitches) or the device that holds your catheter against your skin is secure.
When the old dressing is off, gently clean the skin around your catheter. Use a cotton swab soaked with a solution of half hydrogen peroxide and half warm water. Pat it dry with a clean cloth.
Look at the skin around your catheter. Call your doctor or nurse if there is any redness, tenderness, or drainage.
Place a clean dressing the way your doctor or nurse showed you.