The Non – injectable Arterial Connector (NIC)

In intensive care units (ICU) and operating theatres arterial lines are used to accurately measure a patient’s blood pressure and take numerous and repetitive blood samples. In order to prevent bacterial contamination and blood spillage from the arterial line, red arterial connectors, which are closed cap coverings, are placed on the sampling port of the arterial line. It is estimated that around one million arterial line connectors used in the UK annually. The 2008 National Patient Safety Agency Rapid (NPSA) Response Report highlights problems with arterial lines that have led to patient harm, such as errors with sampling, the use of incorrect infusions, arterial line infection and confusion of arterial and venous lines.