On a daily basis, patients and healthcare workers (HCW) are exposed to many risks related to IV therapy. These IV safety risks include needlestick injuries, exposure to bloodborne pathogens and the complications that arise from improperly inserted or poorly working IV catheters. One of the highest priorities for all healthcare providers should be IV safety. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recognized the importance of reducing complications related to IV therapy and published, "Seven Healthcare Safety Challenges" to protect patients and healthcare personnel and to promote best clinical outcomes.
IV Safety for HealthCare Workers
The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates healthcare institutions protect their workers against needlestick injuries (NSIs) and exposure to bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) on the job through IV safety measures. BBPs are infectious microorganisms present in blood and body fluids and workers exposed to them are at risk for serious or life-threatening illnesses. These pathogens can include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Workers may come in contact with a BBP through IV needlestick injury (NSI) or mucocutaneous exposure, which is exposure through mucous membranes or broken, inflamed or non-intact skin.
Every time a short-peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) is inserted into a patient, there is the potential for a healthcare worker to suffer a IV needlestick injury or a mucocutaneous exposure. Using a data collection system developed by the University of Virginia called EPINet, researchers estimate that between 600,000 and 800,000 needlestick and sharps injuries occur annually among healthcare workers in the U.S. This suggests that at an average hospital, healthcare workers incur approximately 30 NSIs per 100 beds per year. A recently published article on the reporting of blood and bodily fluid exposure shows that, of the 23% of healthcare workers that have had a MCE, 83% went unreported.
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard states that employers must annually document that they have considered and begun using appropriate, effective, safer medical devices designed to protect employees by eliminating or minimizing occupational exposures. OSHA mandates that employers identify and use “engineering controls” or devices that isolate or remove the bloodborne pathogen exposure hazard from the workplace, including sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles and safer medical devices. While intended as a way of increasing IV safety to protect healthcare workers from disease, safe practices also guard against patient exposures.
Patient IV Safety and Short-Peripheral IV Catheters
The number of patients with short-peripheral IV catheters (PIVCs) increases each year. Every IV insertion puts the patient at risk for infection. Though previously cited as not occurring frequently (<0.1%), emerging evidence shows infections caused by PIVCs may be a more common and costly occurrence than once thought. Patient IV safety is the main goal for nurses who are responsible for inserting PIVCs, maintaining the integrity of that site and administering IV therapies. PIVCs that are not secured properly put patients at higher risk for potentially harmful complications. IV catheter-related sepsis can occur from poor IV insertion techniques or when a complication is allowed to progress.
PIVC complications are common and can result in fatality, increased costs from prolonged hospitalization, extended use of IV therapy and possible surgical intervention. Complication rates have been seen as high as nearly 50 percent for PIVCs in place for 96 hours. Most PIVC dislodgements lead to interruption in the delivery of critical medical therapies. With infection and complications come increased costs for hospitals and potentially patients.
Time is Money
According to studies published by the Journal of Infusion Nursing, the average nurse spends at least two full hours per shift attending to dysfunctional PIVCs. Traditional PIVC setups require the assembly of at least seven separate components. When a PIVC must be restarted, new supplies must be gathered and assembled and new sites on the patient found. The average nursing salary can be anywhere from $30 to $50 per hour. When complications arise, more time is spent communicating with the medical team and strategizing ways to deliver therapy. Delays in treatment could mean an extended hospital stay and even more costly interventions.
Promoting IV Safety
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has stated stated the desired features of a safety device: “The safety feature is an integral part of the device. The device preferably works passively (i.e., it requires no activation by the user). The user can easily tell whether the IV safety feature is activated. The safety feature cannot be deactivated and remains protective through disposal. The device performs reliably. The device is easy.”
The NovaCathTM Integrated IV System is designed to increase IV safety, address complications associated with PIVCs, and to comply with NIOSH safety recommendations. NovaCath integrates a variety of different technologies designed to improve patient and clinician safety. These features include:
Advanced Catheter Stabilization
Complete Needle Encapsulation
Passive Safety Technology
Advanced Tubing Management
NovaCath includes a design element that provides an internal 180-degree fluid path turn. This advanced tubing management feature eliminates the need for an external “J-Loop,” which is usually necessary in order to redirect IV fluids back toward the patient. Elimination of the external “J-Loop” minimizes potential complications associated with tubing snags and IV catheter dislodgement.
NovaCath is the only FDA 510(k) cleared Safety IV Catheter system and patent protected technology that uniquely offers Advanced Catheter Stabilization, Next Generation Tubing Management and Passive Needle Encapsulation. To view a demo video, click here.