Although rare, accidental injection of intravenous medication into an arterial line can lead to catastrophic injuries which sometimes require major amputations. Innovations that ensure this does not happen will increase patient safety in NHS hospitals. One such innovation is the Non-Injectable Connector (NIC).
The Non-Injectable Connector (NIC), developed in Kings Lynn Hospital, helps avoid complications associated with arterial lines by preventing bacterial contamination, blood spillage and accidental administration of medication into the artery.
Arterial lines are used in the ICU to accurately measure blood pressure on a second by second basis. However, these lines are associated with complications highlighted by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) Rapid Response Alert (2008): bacterial contamination, blood spillage and, due to confusion with venous lines, accidental administration of medication into the artery instead of the vein.
The Non-Injectable Connector (NIC) makes arterial lines and blood sampling techniques safer. Its origins lie in a local ‘fix’: a consultant at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn started wrapping tape around the arterial sampling port to reduce the risk of the junior doctors accidentally giving medication into this line.
The NIC has gone on to win the National Patient Safety Awards.
Full product details from the manufacturer are available here. You can also watch a video below: