New Product Shields Against Hospital & Home Acquired Infections Resulting From Use of Multi-Dose Medication Vials


Medications such as insulin, blood pressure drugs and even blood thinners by subcutaneous injections from multi-dose vials is common practice in both hospitals and home healthcare, but often bacteria finds its way into the vials through tiny multiple needle holes in the vial cap. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “Since 2001, at least 49 outbreaks have occurred due to the mishandling of injectable medical products.”

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that between five to 10 percent of all patients contract at least one infection from the hospital setting. In 2002, some 1.7 million cases of nosocomial infections and 99,000 associated deaths occurred in U.S. hospitals, leading to extra costs of up to $6.5 billion annually.

Among the infections resulting from contaminated vials, syringes and injections are abscesses, streptococcus, HIV and MRSA, one of the deadliest types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The percentage of MRSA infection has risen from 22 percent in 1997 to more than 60 percent in 2007, causing some 19,000 deaths per year.

Infection prevention is a major healthcare goal, and Lauren Jaconelli, a registered nurse from Mt. Laurel, N.J. with just two years of clinical experience, has invented a sterile cap that can be used to reseal a multi-dose vial after each use. She calls it Vial Shield.

Vial Shield is made of a flexible, nonporous plastic that is disposable so a fresh sterile cap can be used after each dose from a single vial.

The cap fits over the top of the vial, holding snugly around the vial neck. Inside the cap, resting on the rubber vial hub, is an infused alcohol swab to ensure that the top remains sterile at all times. Vial Shield also will help prevent the spread of infections in home medicine cabinets, Jaconelli says.

LND Medical, headquartered in Voorhees, NJ, will produce both 13mm and 20mm sizes that will seal vials from one milliliter to 100 milliliters. The caps are also color coordinated so that healthcare professionals and patients will be able to easily identify different levels of medication. For example, red caps indicate high-risk medications; yellow caps are for insulin, etc.

According to Jaconelli, who works in the Critical Care Unit at Aria Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, “Vial Shield will not only help prevent bacteria from getting into medications, but the cap will also keep the rubber hub sterile and ready for continued use.” She also points out that the new cap eliminates the time spent wiping the hub with alcohol and waiting 30 seconds for it to dry, a step that is sometimes skipped in emergency situations.

“Since I earned my RN and BSN Degrees, it has always been my objective to serve as a patient advocate and provide outstanding patient care,” she says. The invention of Vial Shield is just another way I am working to achieve that goal.”

“We at LND Medical are excited about this inventive cap,” states David Klein, a partner of the firm, “because it will keep patients safe by preventing infection, eliminate time consuming protocols and is easy to use. Also, importantly, it will help reduce HAIs (Hospital-Acquired Infections), which contributes significantly to spiraling hospital costs.”

SOURCE MEDassurance

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