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Limb Draping for Surgery

Chapter 2: Table of Contents

Limb draping is often performed in a hanging limb position. The shaved limb is draped to cover any unshaved or unprepared skin. A foot drape is often applied to cover the toes after four ground drapes are applied to cover the base of the prepared limb and the patient. The limb is draped similarly to any other surgical site, using four ground drapes held in place by towel clamps. Each drape is folded over (9-10 cm) and applied while preventing contamination of the drape or surgeon on the surgical table or the IV pole. The first drape is generally applied at the cranial aspect of the leg and the second drape is applied to the caudal aspect of the leg. The third and fourth drapes are then applied and all drapes are fixed in position using towel clamps that penetrate the apposing drapes as well as the skin. It is sometimes helpful (to prevent contamination) if an assistant cuts down tape and holds the limb manually while the fourth ground drape is applied.

Limb draping: the foot is being covered after the ground drapes were applied

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