Other Wound Types and Skin Injuries

Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury (MARSI)



Similar to medical device related pressure injuries, MARSI describes an etiology of injury. In the case of MARSI the etiology is trauma, not pressure.


The FDA describes medical adhesive tape or adhesive bandages as “a device(s) intended for medical purposes that consists of a strip of fabric material or plastic, coated on one side with adhesive…”


Elderly patients and neonates are at high risk for MARSI. MARSI can be prevented by careful selection of adhesive products, correct application and removal.


The types of skin injuries caused by medical adhesives include:
  • Mechanical trauma
    • Epidermal stripping
    • Tension injury or blister
    • Skin tear
  • Dermatitis
    • Irritant contact dermatitis
    • Allergic dermatitis
  • Other
    • Maceration from trapped moisture
    • Folliculitis

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There is some overlap in terminology, however, the important thing to remember is that MARSI should not be counted as pressure injuries.

  1. McNichol, L., Lund, C., Rosen, T., & Gray, M. (2013). Medical adhesives and patient safety: state of the science: consensus statements for the assessment, prevention, and treatment of adhesive-related skin injuries. Orthop Nurs, 32(5), 267-281. doi: 10.1097/NOR.0b013e3182a39caf