The Danby Building
Northamptonshire General Hospital selects
Prefilled, ready-to-use saline flush device adopted across all clinical areas in response to National Patient Safety Agency alerts
Oxford, UK (March 2010) -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) announced today that Northamptonshire General Hospital has adopted the BD PosiFlush™ prefilled syringe, a ready-to-use saline flush device to replace traditional saline flushing procedures across all clinical areas and to help improve patient safety.
The hospital ordered a trust-wide conversion to the ready-labelled, zero-reflux device in response to best-practice guidelines detailed in recent National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) alerts. Specifically, the hospital’s pharmacy department, led by Karin Start, Senior Clinical Pharmacist, addressed the NPSA alert: Risks with Heparin Flush Solutions. The purpose of this alert was to minimise the use of heparin flush solutions in all devices. As a result of this, heparin formulations were rationalised across the trust.
Heparin flush solutions should not normally be used to flush peripheral intravenous catheters and all flushes should be prescribed. A poster campaign was conducted across the trust to ensure that only saline flushes were used to flush peripheral lines. Also a table was drawn up to state the types of line, which could be flushed using heparin, and these were placed in specialist areas.
Karin Start, Senior Clinical Pharmacist, Northamptonshire General Hospital comments: “These flushes have been a fantastic addition to the trust. Both the doctors and nurses absolutely love them as they support safer administration of injectable medicines across the trust. They are so easy to use and reduce the work burden involved in self preparing flushes.
“BD PosiFlush™ has been well received by all staff and the introduction of the pre-filled flushes across the trust has been supported by Safer Patients In Northamptonshire (SPIN) - a group of doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, managers, patient representatives and board members that works together to put patient safety first. SPIN recognised that BD PosiFlush™ could reduce the risk of infection to the patient by reducing the number of manipulations required to prepare them for treatment.“
In managing the care of most patients, intravenous (IV) therapy is a major treatment modality, and maintaining the intravenous access site is a key responsibility of nursing staff. For most flushing procedures, a saline solution is used, often prepared either at the patient’s bedside, or at a central place on the ward.
In spite of many protocols that describe the importance of good hygienic procedures, various studies have proven that manually filling flush syringes may place patients at risk of infection. For example, manually prepared flush syringes are more likely to become contaminated, putting patients at risk of bacteriological phlebitis or blood stream infections if contaminated saline solution is used to flush vascular access devices (VADs).
Best practice for flushing VADs stresses the importance of positive pressure flushing techniques to keep the VAD patent. However, when positive pressure flushing is performed incorrectly, blood may reflux into the catheter. In an effort to minimise the serious complications associated with reflux, BD developed the zero-reflux BD PosiFlush™ Syringe, specifically designed for flushing vascular access devices.