A spray on, copolymer acrylic dressing (Op-Site) was used to limit the skin damage caused by a transcutaneous oxygen electrode and its adhesive ring. Two identical electrodes were applied to the abdominal skin of 10 preterm infants, one on untreated skin, the other after application of Op-Site. It was found that Op-Site prevented the epidermal damage (as measured by transepidermal water loss) that occurs when the adhesive ring is removed from untreated skin. It did not interfere with transcutaneous oxygen measurements; absolute values and response times were unchanged. Op-Site is therefore useful in preventing the skin trauma that occurs when transcutaneous oxygen monitoring is being performed in preterm infants below 30 weeks' gestation in the first week of life. Care must be taken, however, to prevent a build up of Op-Site--it should be applied as a single layer, allowed to dry, and removed after use.
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