Tackling IV Catheter Failures During Serial Blood Draws with ToughCuff
Student Team: IV League
Dr. Rebecca Shelton-Thomas, DNP, RN
Emory Healthcare System; Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance
Over 900 clinical studies in the US involve blood draw procedures. These studies often require serial blood draws to evaluate blood composition. In some clinical studies, nurses will draw blood from peripheral IVs to avoid multiple needle sticks in one visit. The IV is ideally inserted only once during an outpatient stay. However, since IV catheters were designed to infuse not draw fluids, nurses often experience catheter failures. When this happens, nurses must place a new IV, increasing pain, cost, and time. To address this problem, our project aims to design a device that enables nurses to draw at least 70 samples in one outpatient stay without catheter lumen failure. Team IV League designed ToughCuff, an enhanced peripheral IV catheter with an expandable cuff that allows for single-stick, serial blood draws without failure. During catheter insertion, ToughCuff is in its compressed state. Once placed, saline is injected into the cuff through a Luer lock compatible port. This causes the cuff to expand, adding support to prevent collapse. When ToughCuff is ready to be removed, saline is pulled out of the cuff to compress it for easy removal. To validate the effectiveness of ToughCuff, finite element analysis was used to compare ToughCuff to a standard IV catheter. This showed that ToughCuff prevented catheter collapse when pressures experienced during a blood draw were applied. Furthermore, ToughCuff reduced catheter displacement by 81% when compared to the standard IV. Computational fluid dynamics simulations were used to evaluate how ToughCuff affects blood flow and wall shear stress (WSS). These models showed no significant changes in blood flow with ToughCuff as compared to a standard catheter. Although WSS increased with ToughCuff, it was still within acceptable values. ToughCuff can prevent IV catheter failures, thus improving lives of thousands of people and saving millions of dollars.
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