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J Hosp Infect. 2000 Jun;45(2):165-8.

A prospective clinical study to investigate the microbial contamination ofa needleless connector.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TH.


Needleless connectors, which allow direct access to intravascular catheters, are widely used in clinical practice. The benefits of these devices to healthcare workers are well documented; however, the potential risk of microbial contamination and associated infection is unclear. This clinical study evaluated microbial contamination rates for a needleless connector, Connecta Clave(R) (CC(R)), as compared to a conventional three-way tap, which was connected to the hubs of central venous catheters (CVC) immediately following insertion. Patients in the study group had CC(R) attached to the three-way taps, whereas the control group had standard entry port caps. On removal (up to 72 h) the connectors were studied for microbial contamination. There was no significant difference between the number of three-way taps contaminated on the internal surface with micro-organisms in the control group with entry port caps (19/132, 14%) compared to the group with CC(R) (18/105, 17%). Sixteen percent (27/173) of the CC(R) were contaminated with micro-organisms on the internal surfaces. The external surface of 33% (27/82) of the CC(R) silicone seals were contaminated after clinical use. Micro-organisms were also isolated from 9% (8/91) of the silicone seals after disinfection. The use of this needleless connector, compared to standard caps therefore does not appear to increase the risk of infection via the internal lumen of three-way taps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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