Needleless Connector Nursing Care

CPD Hours: 1
Current as at 03 February 2022
Needleless connectors (NCs), which attach to catheter hubs, were initially introduced into clinical practice to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries.

Tags:

“Examine the nurses’ practice, knowledge, attitudes, and key influencers on appropriate care on NCs in Australia”

Course Content

Needleless connectors (NCs), which attach to catheter hubs, were initially introduced into clinical practice to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries.

Needle-free connectors have been categorised by manufacturers according to the type of fluid displacement that occurs on the disconnection of a male luer.

Negative-displacement devices will allow blood reflux into the catheter lumen, necessitating a positive-pressure technique to avoid occlusions.

Neutral-displacement devices allow no blood reflux to occur on disconnection (if they are indeed truly neutral) and, by way of a fluid reservoir, positive-displacement devices push blood out of the catheter lumen.

All three types of device connected to an empty fluid container will allow blood to reflux into the catheter. For this reason, needle-free connectors designed with an anti-reflux technology are also now available. These devices are different to positive-displacement needle-free connectors in that they incorporate a bidirectional fluid-control valve. This valve prevents unplanned blood reflux into the intravascular catheter during infusion (for example, when a gravity infusion bag is running out of fluid), connection, and disconnection and patient changes in intra-thoracic pressure. Activation of the devices is usually via a male luer and may involve several designs including opening of a split septum or depressing a seal in the injection port. There have, however, been subsequent reports of an increase in the incidence of bloodstream infections with the use of different types of devices.

Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) independently prolong hospitalization and increase health care costs. Catheter hubs, injection ports, and needleless connectors are the main sites for microbial contamination and provide a port of entry for microorganisms inside the catheter. A knowledgeable and competent clinical staff is essential to patient safety and positive outcomes with all catheters and infusion therapy. The goal is to totally eliminate CRBSI and numerous studies have demonstrated that this can be done.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Examine the nurses’ practice, knowledge, attitudes, and key influencers on appropriate care on nNCs in Australia
  • Learn about the compliance with aseptic technique related to use of NCs
  • Discuss the implications of non-compliance on patients
  • Consider education opportunities related to use of NCs
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