Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements
To the Editor:
Leading health care and health care worker safety authorities, including the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advocated the adoption of passive sharps safety devices (1). The passive Introcan Safety® IV Catheter (B. Braun Medical Inc., Bethlehem, PA) was purchased at our institution to minimize accidental needle sticks without requiring user activation and to increase safety for both health care workers and patients. With the use of the FEP (hexafluoropropylene and polytetrafluoroethylene) catheters, we frequently noticed that there are protuberances on the external surface of these IV catheters (Fig. 1). Although no immediate adverse effect would be noticed, this observation would remain a concern. FEP is associated with more local tissue reaction than percutaneous venous (2), silicone (3), and vialon (4–6) catheters. More worrisome is that these particles observed on the external surface of the FEP Introcan Safety® IV catheters can be detached upon rubbing the external surface of the catheter and have the potential to flow into the bloodstream, in which case the consequences although not documented, may be at the least undesirable.
Claude Abdallah, MD, MSc
Division of Anesthesiology; Children’s National Medical Center; Washington, DC; firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Needle points: An AFSCME guide to sharps safety. Washington, DC: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, 2002:1.
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