Nurses are busy. They're constantly moving from patient to patient and room to room. This constant hustle requires tools and solutions that are safe, effective and easy to use.
One of those tools is medical tape. In the past, nurses carried large rolls of tape with them between rooms. But when it was discovered that pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, could be found on partially used rolls of tape, the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stepped in. To combat the potential for cross contamination, guidelines were published instructing healthcare providers that tape rolls must be dedicated to a single patient, or disposed of after use.
Their goal? To prevent the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
While this addressed the issue of traveling pathogens, it didn’t take into account the rapid increase in waste and cost that hospitals would incur. Through our field research, we found that hospitals discarded 70 – 90% of a roll.
In response to the rise in waste, 3M™ designed Single Patient Use Rolls of our most popular tapes for hospitals. The length of the roll has been decreased from 10 yards to 1.5-2 yards—reducing the problem of waste and addressing health safety concerns in hospitals.
If nurses in the US were to use our rolls for just half of the patients discharged from hospitals, it would eliminate 63,624 miles of landfill material. Now that’s good for the Earth and for all the people living on it.