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Baxa launches pre-filled saline intravenous flush syringes in the UK

Baxa : 15 October, 2008  (New Product)
Baxa has launched a new range of pre-filled saline intravenous flush syringes for catheter care in the UK.
Baxa ZR sterile, pre-filled saline IV syringes provide a safe and effective alternative to flushes drawn from multi-dose vials or manual filled. ZR syringes provide ease of administration, convenience, reduction in the risk of errors, increased assurance of sterility, lower costs and less shelf-space than their alternatives, while promoting best practice in IV care.

Terry Aston, managing director of Baxa commented, 'The time is right for pre-fills in the UK. Research and industry best practice widely acknowledges that the greater the number of procedures in preparation of medication, the greater the risk of cross-contamination. ZR pre-filled syringes reduce risk and are far more convenient to use.'

The new flush syringes are available as 10mL and 5mL units. Each syringe is clearly labelled in accordance with NPSA Alert 20, which aims to reduce liquid medication errors. The clear syringe barrels assist visual inspection prior to use; a pull-off tip cap indicates whether the seal is broken and also prevents syringe re-use. Each ZR syringe has a two-year shelf life. Expiry dates are clearly visible to nursing staff.

Nearly all in-patients require an intravenous solution at some point during their stay in hospital. According to a study by the Infection control Journal, eight percent of saline solutions manually prepared by nursing staff were contaminated by micro-organisms. Using typical methods, which involve drawing up a saline solution from an ampoule, cross contamination is a genuine risk. By contrast, the ZR syringes are prepared and packaged within a completely sterile environment, reducing the number of procedures and therefore the risk associated with manual saline solution preparation via a needle, syringe or pod.

By adopting pre-filled flush syringes, which are available without prescription, the number of stages for dose preparation are reduced, which leads to greater compliance with ANTT (Aseptic Non-Touch Technique), recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). Cross contamination is a genuine risk in manual saline flush syringe preparation.

To date, the UK healthcare community has been relatively slow to adopt pre-filled syringes, yet they are widely used across Europe. With fear of contracting an infection high on the list of patients' concerns as they enter hospitals as day patients and with new guidance and compliance governing the administration of liquid and IV medication, it is expected that safer, more convenient, pre-filled syringes will become an everyday method for flushing IV lines.

The product launch is a result of a distribution agreement between Baxa and Excelsior Medical, combining the two companies' experience, manufacturing expertise and distribution channels in the UK.
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