Key Issues with IV Connectors

Tuesday, 15 September, 2015

Baxter table

Catheter Occlusions

  • Catheter occlusion is the most common noninfectious complication in the long-term use of central venous catheters (CVCs) and occurs in 33% of these catheters. 1

  • A common cause for catheter occlusion is clotting of blood refluxed into the catheter. Blood reflux occurs when an administration set or syringe is connected to a positive displacement connector or disconnected from a negative displacement connector. 1

  • Occlusions increase the risk of procedural complications, risk of infections, and costs in hospital time and money. Maintaining the patency of the catheter is a high priority. 2

Bloodstream Infections 

  • Facilities and governments have increased pressure to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAis).

  • It is estimated that central vascular catheters are associated with 248,000 bloodstream infection per year in the US. 4

  • Development of a catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI) can increase hospital length of stay by an average of 23 days, and mortality rate by 21.6% which increases total cost of care. 5

  • As an additional reference the FDA has expressed concern about multiple clinical reports regarding the association of BSls with positive displacement devices. 6

Connector Failure 

  • Connectors not designed to tolerate pressures used for power injection can fail and harm the patient. 3

  • Failure can delay treatment of patient. 7

Training Requirements 

  • Multiple connectors with varied techniques can cause confusion and increased potential for errors. 8

  • Ongoing staff turnover requires increased training. 9


Key Features and Benefits of the One-Link Needle-free IV Connector

Baxter table
Replace if a pressure over 325 psi is applied to the connector. Flush per organization protocol.
Flush with a volume of 10 ml after exposure to blood. Replace if a 10 ml flush cannot be performed.

  1. Hadaway L. Reopen the pipeline. Nursing. 2005; 35(8): 54-61.

  2. Yacopetti N. Central Venous Catheter-Related Thrombosis-A Systematic Review. Journal of Infusion Nursing. July/August 2008; 31(4): 244.

  3. Reminders from FDA Regarding Ruptured Vascular Access Devices from Power Injection. (January 2009).

  4. CDC June 2010: Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) Event.

  5. Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, January 2009, Hospital Acquired Infections in Pennsylvania, Data reporting 2006-2007.

  6. FDA Alert Letter: Positive Displacement Needleless Connectors and Bloodstream Infections: Initial Communication. August 11. 2010.

  7. Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Vol 5, No 4-December 2008, CT Contrast Media Power lnfectors Can Rupture Conventional IV Sets.

  8. Jarvis W. Choosing the Best Design for Intravenous Needleless Connectors to Prevent Bloodstream Infections. posted 7/28/2010.


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