Exposure to Blood in the ICU: The Risks, and a Solution
It’s certainly not news that blood splatter is a concern in the ICU, and it’s safe to say that most providers have protocols in place to minimize the risks. Still, incidents occur, such as this one conveyed by a nurse who recently fell victim:
"I was splattered in the face with blood yesterday on my unit. It got it all over my face near my eyes, nose, on my mouth. I am pretty sure it got in my mouth as well due to the taste. Of all things I was doing a finger stick, which just amazes me that it happened considering I usually have to fight for a measly amount of blood from those".
This nurse is certainly not alone. In fact, a report from the International Healthcare Workers Safety Center at the University of Virginia conveyed that nearly 50% of cases of occupational exposure to blood or bodily fluid in a hospital setting were reported by nurses. And while the theme of the above-quoted caregiver’s online post and the subsequent responses to it had to do with post-incident protocol, we’re thinking today more about pre-incident preventive measures. The World Health Organization offers preventive guidelines, as do CDC, Harvard Medical School and any number of other healthcare organizations, and these measures are all effective in terms of prevention.
One item not on any lists other than those of our global healthcare provider customers is the use of the Marvelous™ stopcock.
The innovative technology found in this increasingly popular device centers on its luer-activated valve, which significantly reduces the risk of needlestick injuries and decreases an ICU nurse’s risk of exposure to both blood and drug splatter during drug administration and blood withdrawal.
As we say on our website, infusesafety.com, “the Marvelous™ stopcock with its luer-activated valve serves as a closed system that eliminates splatter and spills when manipulating the stopcock for IV Therapy or blood sampling and thereby reduces the risk of healthcare personnel exposure to blood and drugs.”
One reason it’s so effective as a preventive device is that the Luer- activated valve enables access to the IV line without having to open it, creating a closed system and allowing for needle-free connection. It may be obvious, but the less manipulation of the system in this fashion, the less risk for exposure.
We think every ICU nurse should know about how Marvelous can minimize their risk for exposure to blood splatter and contamination. That’s why we’re offering you a free copy of our white paper, Elcam Medical’s New & Innovative Minimal Residual Volume Luer-Activated Stopcock.
Access yours today, and we’ll see you next time In the ICU.
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