Why are so many clinicians using outdated medical practices?


Have you ever started a shift, walked into your patient’s room, and wondered why their IV looks like a bad wrapping job at Christmas time? Asking yourself why on earth did they need to use so much tape? Oftentimes it is because the method of securement used is an outdated device or the facility isn’t using catheter securement at all. Securing a catheter properly is necessary for the safety of the patient and the clinician, so why is it commonplace to use a securement device that hasn’t been updated for nearly two decades, and then when it doesn’t work right, to cover it in a mountain of tape?

The most commonly used devices for PICC/central and peripheral catheter securement have been around for a while, a long while… And nothing about the products appear to have changed since they were originally launched. Most facilities made their securement device choice many years ago, and as we all know, changing to a new product is not an easy process, so more than often it doesn’t happen. With some of these products, there are significant issues and customers have reported these issues both to the manufacturer and the FDA; yet despite reports, the product design appears unchanged and the same user issues are repeatedly reported. Are the manufacturers of these securement devices listening? 

For example, in the last year alone, there have been over 70 FDA Maude event reports about one such device, many of which reference the same issue of the device detaching from the patient/pad. One complaint stated that the device fell off of four different patients and resulted in blood leakage. Another said the device had poor adhesive so the PICC fell off. Another said that the device was not adhering properly and needed to be changed more often than usual, and also that 4 or 5 devices were defective per box. Other complaints referenced the device’s failure to bond, detachment of the device, and other general malfunctions. Complaints like this have been coming in since as early as 2010. To make up for the lack of securement, some clinicians are forced to use copious amounts of tape in addition to the securement device to ensure the safety of the catheter. Using an excess of tape can be uncomfortable for the patient, and even cause further issues, like infection, pressure points, and skin reaction. It is an outdated practice, but still widely used. 

With any catheter, there is a risk of movement and dislodgement. If the chosen catheter securement method fails, the catheter could become dislodged and the patient could be at risk. Some catheter securement devices have unacceptably high fail rates. A staggering 69% of peripheral catheter securement devices fail before treatment is complete. Over 300 million peripheral catheters are sold every year in the US and 10% simply fall out, even with dressing. That means that there are over 30 million dislodgements every year in the US alone. One of the main ways that a catheter becomes dislodged is when the clinician secures it with standard medical tape that doesn’t effectively secure the device. A common cause of IV injury is when a clinician is “applying fixation tape or dressing negligently, causing the IV to slip out”. 

So what can you do to lower the number of dislodgements? 

First, look at your experiences with your current IV catheter securement device. Is it holding correctly? Does it work well? How much extra tape is needed? 

Second, check the FDA site yourself to see if any other users have reported any problems with your current device. To do this, go to the FDA Maude Event Search website, and input your device specifications. You only have to fill out a few things. Under “Brand Name”, type the name of the device you are using. Under “Manufacturer”, type the name of the company that makes the device you are using. Then, adjust the date range to go back a couple of years. You will be able to see all of the complaints about the device you are using. 

Third, make sure you are using an Engineered Stabilization Device (ESD) as recommended by INS Standards of Practice, a catheter securement device that is designed to safely adhere to the patient and to stabilize the catheter without the use of additional tape. Starboard Medical’s Clik-FIX line of catheter securement devices have been engineered to secure better, without causing additional discomfort to the patient. Clik-FIX uses a skin-friendly, breathable tricot pad under the mechanical locking mechanism. The two parts of the device are bonded together using cutting-edge methods to ensure that they will not separate. 

Ditch the tape and try Clik-FIX catheter securement. Click here to order free samples.