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Peripheral intravenous catheter needleless connector decontamination study

Posted by Gillian Ray-Barruel on 14 July 2020

Needle-stick injuries in healthcare works are a serious issue that pose a risk of transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis viruses. To reduce the risk of Needle-stick injuries, needleless connectors (NC) were developed. However, NCs are not without their own set of issues. The use of NCs has been associated with an increase in patient blood-stream infections (BSI).

Evidence suggests that this is due to the design of the NC impacting ease of decontamination, as compliance with NC decontamination guidelines. Current recommended disinfectants for NC decontamination are 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) in 70% IPA.
Unfortunately, there is limited evidence regarding the efficacy of the decontaminant used, and the ideal decontamination time.. AVATAR researchers recently investigated this issue to better understand the process. This was achieved through testing two decontaminants, with varying decontamination times in the clinical environment.

Results indicated there was overall no significant difference in scrub times of 5, 10, and 15 seconds, but that even a 15 second decontamination scrub did not always remove all micro-organisms (98% decontamination success rate). There was also no statistical difference between 70% IPA and 2% CHG in 70% IPA in terms of their efficacy in decontaminating NCs.

The results of this study may be useful for future decisions regarding decontamination protocols and may offer some guidance to nurses already short on time regarding how long is appropriate for decontamination.
If you are interested in reading further, the paper is available from the following link: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/wh1.thewebconsole.com/wh/4798/images/peripheral-intravenous-catheter-decontamination-randomised-controlled.pdf

Gillian Ray-BarruelAuthor: Gillian Ray-Barruel
About: Dr Gillian Ray-Barruel is a leading nurse researcher who coordinated the OMG Study which recruited more than 40,000 patients with PIVCs globally. Dr Ray-Barruel holds a joint appointment as a Senior Research Fellow at QEII Jubilee Hospital and Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. She has extensive experience in vascular access devices research, critical care nursing, patient assessment, and project management. Dr Ray-Barruel is dedicated to improving assessment and decision-making by bedside clinicians to prevent patient complications and improve healthcare outcomes.
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