The Cascade of Complications from Reflux to CLABSI


Did you know that uncontrolled blood reflux into your vascular access devices (VAD) could be putting your patients at risk of serious complications, including CLABSIs?

From Reflux to CLABSI

…The quantity and frequency of thrombolytic drugs used for catheter clearance have been used as surrogates for monitoring VAD lumen occlusion and correlated to the type of needleless connector in use.” INS Standards 2021, pS104.

VAD lumen occlusions begin with blood reflux caused by pressure changes in a closed IV system. Over time, blood reflux deposits a conditioning layer of plasma proteins that leads to catheter clotting and dysfunction.

To restore the catheter, patients may receive thrombolytics which have a 3.59 times greater chance of leading to a CLABSI.

Nexus TKO reduces occlusions and thrombolytic usage by 69% and CLABSIs by 36%, as shown in a 2018 study by Lee Steere, RN, CRNI, VA-BC, Unit Leader of IV Therapy Services at Hartford Hospital.

Know Your Needleless Connector

Know the internal mechanism for fluid displacement of the needleless connector in use. Consider the reported blood reflux volume for each type…anti-reflux devices containing a bidirectional, pressure-sensitive valve have the least amount of reflux.” INS Standards 2021, pS104.

With 26 studies validating its performance, the Nexus TKO-6P Anti-Reflux needleless connector is proven to produce the least amount of reflux compared to any other NC.

The Nexus TKO’s unique, pressure-activated diaphragm automatically controls blood reflux occurring from physiological changes—like moving, coughing or vomiting—that no amount of flushing or clamping can completely control.

“In order to avoid complications that threaten patient safety, we need to shift our focus from simply treating occlusions to preventing them altogether by addressing the root cause of these issues—blood reflux.”

–Lee Steere, RN, CRNI, VA-BC
Unit Leader of IV Therapy Services at Hartford Hospital

Do you have questions about blood reflux and IV patient safety? Contact us to learn more.

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