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Arterial Fixation Device

An award winning cannula dressing

Invasive monitoring is the cornerstone for intensive care and the arterial catheter is one of the most common monitoring tools available in Intensive Therapy its (ITUs) today. It is also widely used in theatre, High Dependency Units (HDUs) and coronary care units. However as an invasive device it has the potential to cause many serious complications such as haemorrhage, necrosis, infection and it has been recognised that careful management of these devices is crucial to facilitating the care of critically ill patients.*

Arterial cannula at present pose such high risks that patients are often delayed from returning to normal wards, as the cannula are considered too complex and hazardous to monitor on a normal wards.

The problems associated with arterial lines were the subject of a Rapid Response Report from the NHS National Patient Safety Agency in July 2008.

Currently there is not a cannula dressing available which allows these clinical risks to be easily managed to a similarly high standard as venous cannulation and which address the following problems in one product:

a) Arterial line identification.

Accidental injection of medications into the arterial catheter can be disastrous and may result in necrosis. Complications with AC are more likely to occur when inexperienced practitioners are involved*. In order to reduce these risks more intuitive dressings are needed which clearly identify the line as arterial, making it very distinct from the venous line.

b) Accidental removal.

Profuse bleeding can occur should the arterial line be accidentally removed, such as buy a non conformant patient or simply knocked out of place by accident. Currently tape is used to improve the security of the dressing which can be time consuming and awkward to apply.

c) Infection control.

It is essential that the insertion site is fully visible so that the wounds can be monitored daily for early signs of infection. This is currently not possible with existing dressings as extra tape and bandages are used to fully secure the dressing, which can often clearly cover the insertion site.

The Solution

An innovative fixation device that has been designed by practitioners which solves these problems and makes the procedure of AC monitoring more intuitive for the practitioner, helping to reduce clinical risk for the trust. The device has higher adhesion to the skin, due to its large contact area and higher strength adhesive in order to reduce the chance of the line being accidentally removed.

In accordance with existing colour coding systems for arterial equipment it also clearly marked as an arterial line in red to indicate the potential risks. Please see Rapid Response Report for more details.