A lot of strange things have become the new normal in recent months. You legally can’t travel to most of the world, many schools and businesses have gone virtual, you probably went months without going to a single restaurant, and summer was a lot less eventful than in the past. 

Covid-19 sure has had an impact on lives and livelihood.

Healthcare, as well as many other industries, had to rethink how to operate to make it safer for all involved. Several measures have been made in hospitals to try and make it safer for both the patient and the clinician.

One such measure is attempting to enter patient rooms less often to reduce cross-contamination and reduce the amount of PPE used. In the beginning stages of covid-19, PPE shortages plagued the country, and many healthcare workers were using subpar PPE, bringing in their own PPE, and sometimes reusing certain limited PPE items. 

One responsibility that is difficult to do while attempting to stay socially distanced is checking IV pumps. Most patients in a hospital will have an IV inserted (80% of all patients) and recommendations dictate that IV pumps need to be monitored frequently. That means a clinician could have to enter their patient’s room as much as 6 to 10 times in a shift just to check the IV pump status or reset if alarming.

One way that clinicians tried to reduce the number of room entries was to move the patient IV pumps outside of the rooms. This means that longer IV tubing sets were used (sometimes as long as 20 feet!), allowing the IV tubing to reach across the room and out the door. Clinicians could safely adjust the IV pump while not ever having to enter the patient’s room. This did reduce the risk of cross-contamination between patient and clinician and reduced the use of valuable PPE, but it increased the possibility of a whole slew of other complications related to the patient’s IV. 

A longer length of IV tubing means there is more chance that the IV line can be tugged, caught on something, or tripped over, inadvertently tugging on the catheter and causing it to move a little (or a lot). Catheter movement, whether small or large, is bad for the patient. It can cause catheter-related complications or dislodgement. The tubing will also be heavier, meaning that the catheter needs to be properly secured to reduce the risk of movement and dislodgement from the added weight. We already know that up to 90% of PIVC catheters are removed prematurely because of complications without the pumps outside the room, so we can only expect additional failures with this new safety measure. 

Dislodgement is one of the most common catheter-related complications (more than 75 million catheters are dislodged every year), often leading to the need to pull and replace. This is stressful for the patient, the clinicians, and it costs the hospital money that did not have to be spent (1.8 billion dollars, to be exact). 

But dislodgement isn’t the only complication that costs big bucks. Infection, like CABSI or phlebitis, is another big issue. Just one case of CABSI can cost up to $56,000 per patient, and 10% of all catheterized patients suffer from phlebitis. 

Dislodgement, CABSI, infiltration, extravasation, mechanical phlebitis, pressure injury, occlusion, thrombosis, tip movement, and malposition are the many complications which proper catheter securement helps to prevent. One way to help reduce the risk of these complications is to stabilize and dress the catheter well. And not just stabilize and secure it “enough”, but to secure it better, especially with the increased risk of pulls and tugs due to longer tubing when IV pumps are placed outside the rooms.

This is a pull test of our Clik-FIX PICC/Central catheter securement device vs. the market-leading device. Take a look.

What did you see? Because I saw a device designed for patient comfort and ease of use that was 2.5 times as strong as the market-leading device. The Clik-FIX device could withstand over 8 pounds of pull force. The market-leading device failed at just over 3 pounds…

Most catheters do not need 8 pounds of pull force protection, and it might seem like overkill on our part. But we wanted to make sure that the Clik-FIX could take a beating. With IV pumps moved outside the patient rooms, there is more chance that the IV pole will be knocked over, or that the longer IV tubing can get caught on something or yanked. So much can happen that wouldn’t have normally been a major issue, pre-Covid. 

We’ve seen all kinds of clever and inventive things with COVID-19, like our Clik-FIX catheter securement devices being used to secure catheters with pumps outside the rooms, including being used to secure the tubing to walls and windows, keeping the tubing off of the floor and out of the way. 

We know that keeping IV pumps outside the rooms can decrease PPE, the risk of cross-contamination, and keeps the patient and clinician safer, so be sure to secure the catheter properly. Give Clik-FIX a try and see how secure comfort can be. Order free samples here