oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Needleless intravascular access : review article



Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk for needlestick injuries (NSIs), and in the modern context infections acquired in this manner may have lifethreatening sequelae. <br>HCWs often do not report NSIs and this may explain the apathetic attitude that some authorities have adopted, regarding safer "needleless" systems in operating theatres. <br>Completely "needleless" theatre environments can cause a dramatic escalation in costs. However, cheaper options such as drugs in plastic ampoules, blunt drawing-up needles, and three-way stopcocks for administration of drugs, although preventing injury to the HCW, are less effective in preventing contaminated injuries. The combination of the more expensive Engineered Sharps Injury Prevention Devices (ESIPDs)<sup>*</sup>, Needleless Intermittent Intravenous-access Systems (NIIS) <sup>*</sup>, and accessible at-hand sharps disposal bins, should also be available, since these decrease the incidence of percutaneous transmission of infection. It is the responsibility of each anaesthetist to insist that these items are always readily available. &lt;br&gt;&lt;sup&gt;*&lt;/sup&gt; ESIPDs : intravenous catheters with introducer needles with built-in safeguarded mechanisms. &lt;br&gt;&lt;sup&gt;*&lt;/sup&gt; NIIS : An example would be needle free fluid administration sets.


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