IV luer disinfection cap


Intravenous products: Excelsior Medical, one of the leading manufacturers of pre-filled catheter flush syringes and syringe pump systems, announced that it has launched a major new product: the SwabCap Luer Access Valve Disinfection Cap.

SwabCap is a simple twist-on device that disinfects swab-able luer access valves prior to catheter line access. The FDA-cleared device passively disinfects the valve top and threads while providing a physical barrier to contamination for up to 96 hours.

The caps design and ease-of-use also help verify compliance with standard-of-care clinical protocols for cleaning luer access valves — including the new (January 2010) Joint Commission requirement.

SwabCap was officially launched at the 23rd annual conference of the Association for Vascular Access, held September 15-17. The product has already been shipped to its initial customers.

“Infections related to catheters are potentially fatal and also create large financial burdens for hospitals, sometimes adding up to millions of dollars,” said Tony Saia, Excelsiors Vice President of Global Marketing. “Before SwabCap, its been difficult to verify compliance with the protocols for cleaning luer access valves, which in turn could possibly increase the risk of infection. SwabCap addresses this issue by simplifying and standardizing disinfection, and providing a visible sign that the cap has been cleaned and protected.”

SwabCap disinfects luer access valves by bathing the valves threads and top with 70% isopropyl alcohol. As the cap is twisted onto the threads, a foam pad inside the cap is compressed, releasing the alcohol. The twisting action and the patent pending thread cover design help focus the alcohol on the targeted areas, without activating the luer access valve.

The cap also acts as a physical barrier to touch and airborne contamination, lasting up to 96 hours under normal conditions if not removed. SwabCap’s soft, tactile feel contributes to its effectiveness — by maintaining a secure connection and also making the cap easy to apply.

Vascular access consultant Nancy Moureau, RN, CRNI, said a technology such as SwabCap may represent part of the solution to a widely recognized problem.

“The adoption of needleless access devices such as luer access valves is associated with a rise in CRBSI rates, said Moureau, the founder, president and CEO of PICC Excellence. IV access ports need to be decontaminated with the most effective substance. Alcohol is very effective in disinfecting surfaces, and luer access devices have traditionally been disinfected with alcohol wipes. But compliance with that method is not as high as it needs to be.

SwabCap represents an important advancement in the standardization of valve disinfection that could help prevent potentially deadly catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). CRBSIs are among the most frequent and dangerous infections associated with medical care. These infections are often fatal, with an attributable mortality rate of 12% to 25%. Ensuring the disinfection and protection of luer access valves may play a crucial role in eliminating CRBSIs.

Compliance with clinical protocols for cleaning luer access valves is increasingly important to hospitals. Besides protecting patient safety, the protocols reduce hospitals financial risk. CRBSIs cost an estimated $34,000 to $56,000 per incident to treat, according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and also extend a patients hospital stay by an average of seven days. Much of this cost is now falling on hospitals.

About Excelsior

Excelsior Medical Corp. is one of the leading manufacturers of pre-filled catheter flush syringes and syringe pump systems. Formed in 1989, Excelsior manufactures, markets, and sells pre-filled saline flush syringes, pre-filled heparin flush and lock syringes, and syringe pump systems to customers throughout the world. Excelsior is a privately held company whose main focus is the development of innovative catheter maintenance products that reduce infection, medication errors, and healthcare costs.

For more information, call toll-free 800-487-4276 or access www.excelsiormedical.com.


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