Your provider 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 plastic ring in place), scissors, split gauze sponges, 4-inch x 4-inch (10 cm x 10 cm) gauze sponges, tape, connecting tube, hydrogen peroxide, and warm water (plus 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 on the new dressing.
Be careful when you take off the old dressing:
- DO NOT pull on the drainage catheter.
- Keep the 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 for any increase in redness, tenderness, or drainage. Call your provider if you notice these changes.
Place a clean dressing the way your provider showed you.
If possible, have family or a friend change the dressing for you. This makes the process easier.