A call has been put out by our Meridian Innovation Exchange, inviting submission for an innovative solution that is able to detect extravasation earlier than the human eye.
Devices used to administer intravenous (IV) medicines into patients sit in patient’s blood vessel. A large number of drugs are administered through these devices to treat a wide number of serious illnesses. They are life saving devices.
Blood vessels are narrow tubes which means it is very easy for these IV devices to become dislodged. When this happens, instead of the device sitting in the patient’s blood vessel, it sits in the surrounding tissues. This is called extravasation.
If IV medicines are administered into a device that has extravasated, serious, life changing injuries can occur. These can cause loss of digits (fingers / toes), loss of function / sensation and can cause permanent scarring.
IV devices can become dislodged at any time during infusions. This means that checks done by nurses when they connect an infusion will not detect all extravasations. Serious incidents have also shown us that even when nurses complete their checks on these IV devices, it can sometimes be very difficult to detect an extravasation for a number of reasons including:
What is needed?
We need a probe or a sensor that is able to detect extravasation earlier than the human eye. There are two possible options. Option 1 is the preferred option.
A sensor that continuously sits over the site of an IV device whilst infusions are in progress. It needs to be able to detect the first signs of extravasation (e.g. swelling, temperature change, colour change) in the tissues around the IV device. It will also need to:
A handheld device that can be intermittently applied to the site of an IV device when nurses are doing IV site checks. It needs to be able to detect the first signs of extravasation (e.g. swelling, temperature change, colour change) in the tissues around the IV device. It will also need to be:
All innovations will be reviewed by Karl Emms Lead Nurse for Patient Safety at the Birmingham Children's Hospital. He is looking forward to reviewing any ideas or innovations and is keen to give feedback and co collaborate along with his clinical colleagues.