IV management - Advancing catheter securement

By John Connole
Friday, 05 October, 2012

Intravascular catheters are the most frequently used medical devices1 in hospitals and enable fast infusion of often lifesaving medications and fluids, delivered directly into the blood stream.

In certain situations IV access can be difficult, challenging and a high risk factor for catheter-related blood stream infections. An estimated 200,000 Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) occur each year across Australia.2 Around 12,000 of these are catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSIs). The average cost per CRBSI ranges from $3,000 to $29,000 per occasion and requires prolonged patient hospitalisation with the direct attributable mortality rate of seven per cent.3

Prevention of catheter-related blood stream infections must remain a high priority for Australian hospital and healthcare facilities in order to minimise the risk of complications and improve patient safety.

Widely accepted ways to reduce the infection risks associated with vascular access include: adequate skin preparation and antisepsis of the catheter insertion site; optimal insertion technique; attention to hand hygiene; excellent ongoing care; and ensuring catheter securement which can help prevent costly restarts.

When a catheter is secure and stable, there is less movement of the catheter in and out of the insertion site and therefore less chance of contaminants entering the vein. As IV devices circumvent the skin’s natural defense system, IV insertion sites provide a way for microorganisms to enter the blood stream. A secure catheter also means less irritation of the vein wall by the catheter4 which can be a major cause of phlebitis.

Maintaining catheter securement

3M now offers clinicians an innovative new range of IV dressings: TegadermTM IV Advanced Securement Dressings with Comfort Adhesive Technology, to help improve catheter securement, minimise the risk of complications and improve patient safety and comfort.

The power of 4

To help maintain catheter site securement, Tegaderm IV Advanced Securement Dressings works in four unique ways:

1 Force-shifting notch – this feature of the dressing shifts the pull force from the dressing’s edge to its centre and then across the dressing to allow for improved line securement.

2 Stabilisation border – The reinforced border enhances stabilisation, while the dressing remains flexible and comfortable on the skin. A special coating on the dressing film allows for easy tape strip removal and access to the hub without removing the dressing.

3 Comfort adhesive technology – Two innovative adhesives provide exceptional hold, even under moist skin conditions. The patterned adhesive secures and protects the catheter facilitating moisture evaporation through the dressing’s breathable film. The film is transparent to provide continual site observation and minimal adhesive residue is left behind on patient skin and catheter to enable easy removal.

4 Sterile strips – The sterile tape strips allow the dressing to withstand additional pull force and enhance stabilisation.

For more information on Tegaderm™ IV Advanced Securement Dressing with Comfort Adhesive Technology contact 3M on 1300 363 878.


1. Zhang L, Gowardman J, Rickard CM. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 2011 Jul;38(1):9-15. Epub 2011 Mar 23. Impact of microbial attachment on intravascular catheterrelated infections.

2. Cruickshank M, Ferguson J, editors. Reducing Harm to Patients from Health Care Associated Infection: The Role of Surveillance: Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2008.

3. Safer Systems-Saving Lives. Preventing central venous catheter related bloodstream infections – Version 5. State Government of Victoria, Australia, Department of Health. http://www.health.vic.gov.au/ssI/interventions/central-line.Htm

4. Gorski L; Speaking of Standards; Journal of Infusion Nursing; Vol. 30, No. 5, September/October 2007

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