Archive June 2018 XIX, No. 6

Ideas That Work: Cataract Comfort

Removing Face Drapes Doesn't Have to Hurt

SOFT TOUCH Reducing some of a drape's stickiness before applying it makes removal much easier.

Peeling self-adhering drapes off a patient's face after cataract surgery can be quite painful and can even cause cutaneous epithelial defects. Cataract patients are emerging from light anesthesia at the end of cases when you remove the drapes, so the discomfort can become the procedure's defining moment. I came up with this 3-step process to take the pain out of the process:

  1. Massage face cream onto the patient's face in the pre-op holding area.
  2. Flick water on the adhesive part of the drape and lightly pat that part on your surgical gown, sticking and unsticking the drape a few times.
  3. Dry the drape and put it on the patient.

Those moves significantly reduce the drape's stickiness, but still leave it sticky enough to adhere lightly to the patient.

Christopher Kuntz, MD
Bellevue, Wash.

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