StatLock Efficacy Documented in New Study


Due to improper information supplied to Infection Control Today, a previous version of this news item incorrectly cited the name of the organization responsible for the new Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice. That organization is the Infusion Nurses Society.  It should also be noted that manufactured catheter securement devices were mentioned in the 2000 version of the Standards. Additionally, the news item should have stated that the updated version of the INS publication, titled Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, will teach proper usage of mechanical stabilization devices in general. For more information on the evidence-based Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice and Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, visit  


SAN DIEGO Patients do better when caregivers use StatLock instead of tape or suture to secure IV catheters, according to a new article in this months Journal of Infusion Nursing.

The StatLock catheter securement device protects patients from becoming pincushions, by reducing repeated painful needlesticks and serious medical complications.

These problems are common when catheters are held in place by tape or suture, the traditional, habit-based methods of securing them.

In the new article, Why Are We Stuck on Tape and Suture? the authors -- Gregory Schears, MD, a pediatric specialist, and Ann Marie Frey, RN, a pediatric IV access specialist at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) -- review seven published papers. Those papers encompass 429 patients and compare StatLock securement with tape or suture securement.

In all studies, the rate of patient complications in the StatLock group was lower than for the standard means of securement.  Moreover, when StatLock was compared to suture, potentially lethal catheter-related bloodstream infections were reduced by up to 80 percent and accidental needlestick injuries were 100 percent eliminated.

The StatLock device for peripheral IV catheters is further validated in a separate, new study also appearing this month in the same journal. Peripheral IVs are the most common kind of catheters, accounting for 600 million such catheters sold annually worldwide.

The prospective clinical trial concluded that StatLock IV Ultra is superior to both nonsterile tape and a competing die-cut tape device.  By dramatically extending the average catheter dwell-time, StatLock proved to be the only securement method that allowed the hospital to achieve the CDC-approved protocol, whereby IV catheters are left in place up to 96 hours instead of changed every 72 hours. This means substantial cost benefits for the hospital and fewer needlesticks for patients.

The study was conducted by infusion expert Bonnie Trottier Smith, RN, CRNI, manager of the IV Therapy Department at HolmesRegionalMedicalCenter, a 514-bed hospital in Melbourne, Fla.

 These studies demonstrate that using the catheter securement device helps to reduce catheter-related complications such as dislodgement and catheter-associated infection, said Schears, co-author of the first article in this months Journal of Infusion Nursing.  This reduces the need for replacement catheters during the treatment course, which means fewer needlesticks for patients. To better protect patients, its time for clinicians who are still stuck on using tape or suture to adopt better, clinically proven technology.

The benefits of the StatLock device extend beyond just holding the catheter in place, according to Frey and Schears, who write: Many of the studies show evidence of reduced trauma to blood vessels, with lower rates of phlebitis and occlusion.  Phlebitis is inflammation of a vein, while occlusion refers to blockage.

Not only does the use of tape and suture cause more medical complications. The older approaches are also more expensive, according to the article.

Schears and Frey conducted their research at CHOP and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  Schears is now a pediatric intensivist and anesthesiologist practicing in Rochester, Minn.

In a separate new study appearing this month in JIN, Smith documents a study comparing StatLock, tape, and a competing tape-like device. The goal was to determine which one would best enable Health First to meet the CDC-allowed 96-hour-change protocol, which is an increase from the previous allowed protocol of 72 hours.

The study concluded that tape and the competing device were woefully inadequate to meet the CDC standard. Only 8 percent of tape-secured IVs did not have to be changed before reaching 96 hours, while for the competing device a similar number -- 9 percent of IV lines -- reached 96 hours.

With tape and the competing device, the remaining catheters had to be changed prior to 96 hours due to complications such as dislodgement, phlebitis and other factors, with the attendant cost increases in materials and nursing time.

StatLock, by comparison, enabled 52 percent of catheters to remain in place for the 96 hours, saving materials costs and reducing nursing overtime pay.  Smith also reported an observed improvement in nursing morale.

In a related development, the new Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, distributed this month by the Infusion Nurses Society, include mechanical catheter stabilization devices such as StatLock. The new Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing, also published this month by INS, teach proper usage of mechanical catheter stabilization devices, a category that includes StatLock.

StatLock replaces tape and suture securement, the traditional but problem-plagued methods of catheter securement.  The device's technology reduces vascular-device-related complications and infections; the device is used in settings ranging from the neonatal ICU to the nursing home.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) now requires healthcare facilities to annually review their catheter securement protocols, and to assess suture-free and tape-free alternatives. Federal infection-control guidelines also support the use of suture-free securement.  CDC Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections state, Sutureless securement can be advantageous over suture in preventing catheter-related bloodstream infections. 

StatLock is currently sold in more than 30 countries and meets the Royal College of Nursing securement standards in Britain. Venetec Internationals IV safety securement products are contained in more than 95 percent of extended-dwell catheter kits in the U.S., and its peripheral IV products are used hospital-wide in more than 300 hospitals in the U.S.  Venetec has agreements for StatLock usage with many healthcare organizations, including Novation, Premier, Inc., and the Veterans Health Administration. StatLock devices are included in safety infusion systems made by Baxter Healthcare, B. Braun, Arrow International, BD (Becton Dickinson), Kendall/Tyco, C.R. Bard, Cook, Inc., and others.



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