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Please Help!!! How do you take a medical dressing off with out hurting the child?????

My Son in 3yo and he just got out of the hospital because he had surgery on an infected lymph node. So now he has a 4 by 4 dressing over his hole in his chin so that it can continue to drain. Well this morning he woke up and I went to change it but the little hairs (for lack of a better word) are all stuck in his wound. When I try and remove it, it really hurts him. He has been in enough pain I don't want to put him threw any more. Is there a trick to doing this so that it wont hurt him?

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Asked by Adelle at 12:29 PM on Oct. 22, 2009 in Health

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Answers (12)
  • do it when he is in the bath, as long as it is okay to get the wound damp, don't be alarmed if it bleeds a little. My husband works in wound care, and if it really bothers him call the doc and one of the nurses or assistants will do it, they can use spray novicaine or something like that, hope he feels better!

    Answer by kimigogo at 12:32 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Thank you, I was thinking of that too but he cant get it wet until this weekend :o( I am going to wait a couple of hours to see if I get anymore help and then I think I am going to take him in to an urgent care. I didn't think it was going to be like this, now I wish I would have asked before we left :o(

    Answer by Adelle at 12:40 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I was going to say get it wet too....even if you are supposed to keep the area dry, you can wet the dressing enought to unstick it. Try putting a warm, wet rag against it to dampen it a little.

    Answer by christyg at 12:41 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • You could also use a little rubbing alcohol. Peel a little of the tape, apply a alcohol moistened piece of gauze or a paper towel. Repeat the process, anchoring the skin and pulling gently. I used this method on people who needed frequent dressing changes or elderly and sick patients who have thin and papery skin. I've been thanked for this method countless times. If you do not want to use alcohol because it's close to his nose (the fumes won't hurt him), you can just anchor the skin firmly and peel it gently.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 12:46 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Taking him to urgent care may be more traumatic than just doing it yourself and getting it over with. They may send a home care nurse out. They are usually great.

    Answer by Gailll at 1:03 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • My son had road rash from a bike wreck & we had to unstick the dressing from it (visiting nurse put the wrong dressing on it & it stuck) We used a spray bottle to wet it down and slowly unstick it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Thank you all so much, I was a little scared to take him in to see more Drs, so i asked him if he wanted me to try or just take him in. He said he wanted me to do it so. I just got it a little wet and just did it little by little. I am going to go into an urgent care and see if there is a different kind of dressing to put on it? Or if there is a special trick to it? It never did that in the hospital. Thanks again for all your help.

    Answer by Adelle at 2:04 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • They did not put a non-adherent dressing like a telfa pad on him?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I don't know if he needs a specific kind of covering, but I found some nonstick gauze pads in the grocery store that absolutely do not stick. I had a fracture blister on the back of my heel after I broke my ankle, and I bought those gauze pads and they were great. They're made by Johnson and Johnson, I think.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 2:50 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I would put a little antibiotic ointment on it then put on a non-stick gauze pad. Then, tape down the sides with Paper Tape. Paper tape comes in a roll and does not hurt when removed. My son had cancer and he always insisted on paper tape so it would not take off his arm hairs when removed. Plus, the adhesive did not make his skin react to it. The antibiotic ointment would prevent the scab from attaching to the gauze. Only paper tape at my house!
    Peg in Iowa

    Answer by RaisnKids at 3:49 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

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