It is essential that an aseptic technique is followed during the placement of a peripheral IV device. This approach will ensure contamination and potential infection are avoided. However, to what extent do we need to complicate what should be an easy to replicate straightforward procedure.
When considering asepsis during straightforward IV procedures we should focus on extraluminal and intraluminal contamination prevention. During the preparation and completion of a simple IV procedure such as peripheral IV insertion the protection of points of potential contamination will prevent infection. Should we complicate the approach to asepsis or should we simply ensure clinicians understand how to protect the patient from touch contamination? The following FAQ may help with further discussion:
- Is a sterile drape required during placement of peripheral IV devices? To answer this question we should reconsider what function the sterile drape plays towards infection prevention during placement of peripheral IV devices. I propose that the sterile drape place underneath a patients arm during device placement play no role in the prevention of infection. The use of a sterile drape simply adds further steps to a straightforward IV procedure.
- Once a drug is drawn into a syringe how do you protect the luer connector? First of all thank you for identifying that it is vital to protect the luer connector which in turn will prevent intraluminal contamination. Simple! You can achieve lure protection from a number of proprietary products. However, one simple approach is the use of the syringe wrapper to protect the luer connector.
- Sterile or non sterile gloves? The simple answer to this question is another question! If your gloves are non sterile they must not come into direct contact with sterile or cleaned parts during the procedure. If touch cannot be avoided then sterile gloves will be required. However, the sterile gloves themselves are prone to inadvertent touch contamination. Complicated! My advice would be to try and keep it simple; wear non sterile gloves and avoid direct or indirect contamination of intraluminal or extralumial sites.
It is essential that we spread the word and ensure all clinicians understand the role of intraluminal and extraluminal protection during IV procedures. More information is available at www.ivprotected.com