SMTL Dressings Datacard

Product Name: Tegaderm
Classification Name: Dressing Semipermeable Adhesive BP
Manufacturer: 3M Health Care Ltd


Tegaderm consists of a thin polyurethane membrane coated with a layer of an acrylic adhesive. The dressing, which is permeable to both water vapour and oxygen, is impermeable to micro-organisms and once in position, it provides an effective barrier to external contamination, whilst producing a moist environment at the surface of the wound by reducing water vapour loss from the exposed tissue. Under these conditions in shallow wounds, scab formation is prevented and epidermal regeneration takes place at an enhanced rate, compared with that which occurs in wounds treated with traditional dry dressings.


Tegaderm may be used in the treatment of minor burns, pressure areas, donor sites, post-operative wounds, and a variety of minor injuries including abrasions and lacerations. It is also used as a protective cover to prevent skin breakdown due to friction or continuous exposure to moisture. Tegaderm may be used to retain peripheral and central IV catheters, for the transparent nature of the dressing allows the site to be constantly monitored for signs of infection, leakage or catheter misplacement. An alternative product containing iodine (Tegaderm Plus ) may be prefered for this indication.


Although there are no absolute contra-indications to the use of Tegaderm, it is not recommended that the material be applied over deep cavity wounds, third degree burns, or wounds that show evidence of clinical infection. The dressing should not be used to retain in-dwelling arterial catheters.

Method of use

Tegaderm utilises a novel system to facilitate application of the dressing to the surface of the wound. The film is enclosed between two liners: on the adhesive surface is a printed sheet of release paper, and on the outer, non-adhesive surface is a slightly more rigid sheet of thin card.

The central portion of the card may be removed, leaving the film suspended on a frame, which facilitates easy precise placement of the dressing and reduces wrinkling. Once in position, the frame is removed and the film is lightly smoothed into position. In order to ensure good adhesion, the dressing should be allowed a minimum overlap of 4-5 cm from the margin of the wound onto the surrounding dry skin. On clean, heavily exuding wounds, such as donor sites, large quantities of fluid sometimes accumulate beneath the film. This should be left undisturbed as far as possible, but if the accumulation becomes excessive, it may be aspirated with a syringe using an aseptic technique. A small patch of Tegaderm should be applied over the puncture to prevent leakage or contamination. When Tegaderm is used to dress a cannula site, the area should first be cleansed with alcohol or saline and carefully dried, ensuring that all traces of creams or detergents have been removed.

Frequency of Change

In general, Tegaderm should not be left in position for longer than seven days. This is particularly important where the dressing is being used to retain an intravenous catheter.


Tegaderm is presented individually wrapped in peel pouches, sterilised by gamma irradiation.


6 cm 7 cm ; 10 cm 25 cm

6 cm 7 cm ; 15 cm 20 cm

10 cm 12 cm* ; 20 cm 30 cm

Described as an IV dressing, as the design facilitates placement over intravenous catheter hubs

* available on Drug Tariff


1. Moshakis V, et al., Tegaderm versus gauze dressing in breast surgery, Br. J. clin Pract., 1984, 38, 149-152.

2. Thomas S, et al., Comparative review of the properties of six semipermeable film dressings, Pharm. J., 1988, 240, 785-787.

Revision Details

Revision AuthorDr S. Thomas
Revision No 1.4
Revision date1997/12/16

This datacard has been prepared from data provided by the manufacturer and/or from published literature.

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Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Mar-2002 10:23:26 GMT