New clinical research on SwabCap® was the subject of a prizewinning scientific poster at the 2011 annual conference of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI).
The orange disinfection cap for needleless IV connectors was also the focus of a multi-site clinical study and podium presentations by two prominent physicians, at the annual meeting of the Association for Vascular Access (AVA).
Gregory Schears, MD, of Rochester, Minn., presented research at the AVA meeting showing that SwabCap allowed for significant reductions in the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) at 12 diverse medical facilities. He described the results of a multi-site study of 12 hospitals that trialed a disinfection cap (SwabCap). The hospitals researched the cap to see if it could improve upon strictly manual disinfection of IV needleless connectors, and thereby lower their CLABSI rates.
In the study, SwabCap use allowed for an average CLABSI rate reduction of 61.6 percent, which is statistically significant (p<0.0020). The hospitals in the study represented a full range of medical, surgical and intensive care units in both community hospitals and tertiary care facilities. Schears concluded that a disinfection cap should be considered a best practice for eliminating CLABSIs.
The award-winning poster at NACHRI presented data showing that SwabCap, both alone and as SwabKIT (cap and flush syringe), allowed for steep reductions in CLABSIs among vulnerable pediatric patients. The poster's chief author was Eddie Simpser, MD, FAAP, executive vice president and chief medical officer of St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children (Bayside, N.Y.)
Simpser also spoke at AVA about SwabCap usage at St. Mary's. "It's hard to drop bloodstream infection rates with patients who are as prone to infections as ours are," he says. "We made three additions to our central line bundle to prevent CLABSIs, and clearly the disinfection cap had the greatest impact, with an overall reduction of nearly 55 percent."
In addition to the doctors' talks and posters, the AVA meeting featured a third poster, from St. Francis Hospital, in Columbus, Ga., outlining the hospital's effort to further reduce CLABSIs by implementing SwabCap. SwabCap was implemented at St. Francis in April 2010. The device allowed for a 62.6 percent drop in CLABSIs, comparing the pre-implementation period of January 2009-March 2010 to post-implementation data from April 2010 to June 2011. The cap allowed for an even lower rate from January to June 2011 -- an 87 percent decrease compared to January 2009-March 2010.
Pam Stokes, RN, BSN, MSM, CIC, St. Francis' director of epidemiology, Employee Health, OP Infusion and PICC Services, represented the poster at the conference. The same data was also featured as a poster at the recent meeting of the Georgia Infection Prevention Network.
"We made significant efforts to reduce CLABSIs before implementing the cap, and yet we still achieved substantial rate reductions when the cap was introduced," says Stokes. "This appears to indicate that a disinfection cap should be part of efforts to prevent these potentially deadly infections."
The AVA conference also saw the launch of a new product called SwabPack, which provides another option for making the cap available at the point of patient care. SwabPack contains 25 SwabCaps in a bar-coded plastic bag that can be hung from an IV pole. SwabCap is a disinfectant cap that creates a closed system with its patent-pending thread-cover seal. The FDA-cleared device saves nursing time by passively disinfecting the top and threads of needleless IV connectors, after an IV line is placed and between line accesses. A medical-grade foam pad inside the sealed disinfectant cap releases 70 percent IPA that continually bathes the connector top and threads, thanks to the closed system and thread-cover seal. Compliance to and standardization of infection control protocols is verified when the bright orange cap is observed in place.
The AVA conference was held Oct. 2-6, 2011 in San Jose, Calif. The NACHRI meeting occurred Oct. 9-12, 2011 in Bellevue, Wash.