Venetec Joins Patient Safety Organization

PHILADELPHIA -- The Patient Safety Officer Society (PSOS) announced today that Venetec International is the organization's newest corporate member.

PSOS is a non-profit organization supporting the activities of hospital patient-safety officers, to reduce preventable medical errors and enhance the overall safety of patient care.

Venetec manufactures StatLock catheter securement devices, which measurably improve patient safety by reducing catheter-related bloodstream infections and other serious medical complications caused by traditional tape and suture securement of catheters.

"Venetec's products are widely recognized as having pioneered a whole new area of patient safety," said David Shulkin, MD, PSOS's president and founder, and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations recently redoubled its efforts to prevent the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections, including those related to catheters. A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that catheter-related bloodstream infections kill between 2,400 and 20,000 U.S. patients each year, and increase healthcare costs by between $296 million and $2.3 billion annually.

"Venetec's membership in PSOS underlines the fact that improper catheter securement is a common source of medical errors, and that those errors can be dramatically reduced with a securement device," Shulkin said.

"Improper catheter securement is the most common medical error in America. It seriously compromises patient safety and leads to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary and sometimes deadly medical complications," said Steve Bierman, MD, Venetec's CEO and medical director. "There are more than 300 million catheters placed in the U.S. each year, and the all-too-common complications related to catheter securement can be reduced by using a proven adhesive anchor such as StatLock."

These avoidable, catheter-related complications include bloodstream infections, phlebitis, interruption of medications and unplanned catheter restarts. Many of these complications cause considerable pain and discomfort to patients; the most serious of them are deadly.

Research has shown that potentially lethal catheter-related bloodstream infections drop by as much as 80 percent when a StatLock device rather than suture is used for catheter securement. These studies also showed that StatLock significantly reduces the length of time needed to secure a catheter to the skin, secures catheters as well as or better than suture, and trends toward fewer overall catheter-related complications.

Research on StatLock's patient-safety benefits has appeared in the Journal of Vascular & Interventional Radiology and in a joint publication of the National Patient Safety Foundation and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO).

Venetec's support for PSOS is one of the company's many efforts to advance the cause of patient safety, both through its own product design and marketing and its contributions to the non-profit sector. A world leader in safety securement devices, Venetec manufactures and markets StatLock, which replaces tape and suture to secure virtually all kinds of catheters and medical tubes. StatLock is a custom-designed, adhesive-backed pad that has an integrated anchor for connecting the pad to a catheter assembly.

Venetec products are used in more than 1,000 healthcare facilities throughout the world, including the Cleveland Clinic, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Kaiser Permanente. StatLock devices are included in the catheter kits of such major medical device manufacturers as Baxter Healthcare, B. Braun Medical, Arrow International, Cook Inc., and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.).

PSOS, headquartered in Gladwyne, Penn., and formed in 2002, provides professional growth opportunities and other resources to hospital patient-safety officers to help them reduce preventable medical errors and enhance patient safety in their organizations. Membership is free to patient safety officers anywhere in the world. The organization currently has more than 500 members. For more information, access www.PSOS.org.

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