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Tape, non-waterproof, per 18 square inches

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

  • Common Name(s): Non-waterproof Tape Application
  • Technical/Medical Term: Tape Application, Non-Waterproof, per 18 square inches (HCPCS Code A4450)


Applying non-waterproof tape over a specified area of skin for medical purposes. Commonly used to secure dressings, bandages, or medical devices to the skin.


  • Medical Conditions or Problems: Used to hold dressings or bandages in place over wounds, surgical sites, or injuries.
  • Goals/Outcomes: Protect wounds from infection, maintain the position of medical devices, and facilitate healing.


  • Symptoms or Conditions: Open wounds, post-surgical sites, minor cuts, abrasions, or need to secure medical devices.
  • Patient Criteria: Patients with skin conditions or injuries requiring coverage and protection provided by dressings held by tape.


  • Pre-Procedure Instructions: Ensure skin is clean and dry.
  • Diagnostic Tests/Assessments: Generally none required; however, skin assessments may be performed to evaluate for allergies or skin sensitivity.

Procedure Description

  1. Step-by-Step Explanation:
    1. Clean and dry the skin area where tape will be applied.
    2. Open the non-waterproof tape packaging.
    3. Cut or tear the tape to the desired length.
    4. Apply tape over the dressing or directly onto the skin.
    5. Smooth the tape to ensure secure adhesion without wrinkles.
  2. Tools/Equipment: Non-waterproof tape.
  3. Anesthesia/Sedation Details: Not applicable.


  • Typically takes a few minutes depending on the size of the area being covered and the number of pieces of tape applied.


  • Can be performed in various settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, or at home.


  • Typically applied by nurses, healthcare assistants, or caregivers. Patients or family members can also apply the tape if instructed properly.

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Minor skin irritation, allergic reactions, mild discomfort during removal.
  • Rare Risks: Severe allergic reactions, skin damage upon removal.


  • Expected Benefits: Protect wounds, reduce the risk of infection, stabilize medical devices or bandages, support healing.
  • Realization Timeline: Immediate upon application.


  • Post-Procedure Care: Monitor the taped area for signs of irritation or allergies.
  • Recovery Time: No recovery time needed specifically for the tape application itself.
  • Restrictions/Follow-Up: Ensure tape is replaced as necessary; follow specific wound care guidelines if applicable.


  • Other Treatment Options: Waterproof tape, adhesive bandages, cohesive bandages.
  • Pros and Cons:
    • Waterproof Tape: Better for situations where the area may get wet but might be less breathable.
    • Adhesive Bandages: Integrated dressing and adhesive but might not be sufficient for larger wounds.
    • Cohesive Bandages: No adhesive-related skin reactions but thicker and bulkier.

Patient Experience

  • What to Expect: Minor initial discomfort during application; potential slight discomfort during removal.
  • Pain Management and Comfort Measures: Gently remove tape to minimize discomfort; use adhesive-removal sprays if necessary.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Tape, non-waterproof, per 18 square inches

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