Device is safer than tape or sutures in securing catheters in ill children

Philadelphia, Pa. A self-adhesive device called StatLock may be preferable to using sterile tape or sutures to secure intravenous catheters that deliver nutritional fluids and medications to patients. Compared to those standard methods, the device reduced infection rates in patients and was dislodged less frequently, according to researchers from The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, nurses and physicians completely avoided the risk of accidental needlesticks that may occur when inserting sutures. "We found advantages for both patients and healthcare providers," said Gregory J. Schears, M.D., an intensive-care physician in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Childrens Hospital, and lead author of the study.

Dr. Schears presented his study results today at a national conference on patient safety in Chicago, co-sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Two studies were performed in 200 pediatric patients at Childrens Hospital, with a third study group composed of 148 adult patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either the StatLock device or the conventional securement method sterile threaded tape or sutures. "Overall, when patients had the StatLock, there were fewer catheter-related complications, such as infections, unplanned removals and accidental needlesticks," said Dr. Schears. "The device was also significantly faster to apply than either tape or sutures."

Central venous catheters are used to annually deliver intravenous fluids, nutritional fluids and medication to millions of patients, many of them critically ill. However, puncturing the skin and maintaining an opening for the catheter runs a risk of potentially serious infection. "Until now, no studies have systematically compared current securement methods for their impact on catheter-related complications," said D

Contact: Maria Stearns
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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