BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, announces the approval of the BD Saf-T-Intima™ Safety Integrated IV Catheter System for use in subcutaneous infusion therapies in Europe.
Subcutaneous infusion is increasingly and widely used for therapies such as rehydration, post-operative pain management, palliative care and paediatric care. It provides an affordable, effective, and less invasive alternative to the established intravenous route. Subcutaneous infusion also offers the benefit of many subcutaneous sites, rather than limited intravenous sites, which helps to increase patient comfort.
This will particularly benefit elderly care as one of the top ten most common reasons for the elderly being admitted to hospital is dehydration[i]. The National Patient Safety Agency, Royal College of Nursing and Water UK have acknowledged lack of hydration as a significant problem in hospitals as it increases hospital stays and is linked to a number of serious conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke[ii]. Dehydration is placing an economic burden of an estimated $1 billion on healthcare systems[iii], but proper hydration alone could save the NHS £0.95 billion by reducing associated illnesses and bed days[iv]. This is particularly pertinent in light of the recent Lords Committee Report highlighting the need for changes to healthcare, amongst other areas, to help an increasingly ageing society sustain a good quality of life[v].
Andrew Jackson, IV Nurse Consultant and owner of IVTEAM.com, who has written a report which reviews subcutaneous infusion therapy[vi], comments: “Subcutaneous infusion therapy is increasingly being adopted by healthcare organisations. It is a clinically safe and cost effective approach to large volume fluid replacement, and its growth will not be limited to the hospital setting. The development of care in the home and the prevention of expensive hospital admissions will ensure this form of therapy benefits patients in a variety of clinical settings. Problems associated with the intravenous route, such as device related bacteraemia, are reduced, and staff and patients alike benefit from its ease of use, potential for increased dwell time, and the number of anatomical sites available. A quality device will ensure patients and clinicians enjoy all the benefits of subcutaneous infusion therapy.”
BD Saf-T-Intima™ is approved by the British Standards Institution and includes all the characteristics of the most suitable devices for subcutaneous access, such as comfortable wings for stability and support, and an integral short extension tube to aid smooth insertion and reduce catheter movement during use. The pre-attached extension line reduces additional cost in assembly time, and reduces touch contamination risk. An increase to in-dwell times reduces overall costs of the therapy implemented, as well as in catheter materials, and staff time.
Clinicians and others are safeguarded from potential sharps injuries and infection as the patented shielding design incorporates a telescoping needle shield that passively covers the stylet as it is withdrawn from the catheter. Patients benefit from a reduced infection risk as the subcutaneous route does not interact with the main blood vessels.
BD Vialon™ biomaterial is used to manufacture the BD Saf-T-Intima™. The Vialon softening capabilities avoid kinking issues and lead to a more comfortable cannula experience for the patient compared to steel wing needle alternatives. The material can permit longer cannulation with less risk of complication while also helping to ensure subcutaneous infusion in-dwell times. BD Saf-T-Intima is DEHP free.
A useful tool available to all is BD’s Europe-wide safety website which provides an overview of BD’s healthcare worker safety programme which takes a holistic approach to safety. Health economics, risk assessment, conversion management and training are all crucial elements. The site also includes an overview of BD’s range of safety-engineered medical devices.
[i] Remminton, R. and Hultman, T, (2007) Hypodermoclysis to treat dehydration . A review of the evidence. JAGS. 55(12). P.2051-2055.
[ii] NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, High Impact Action: Keeping nourished – getting better. (accessed 18th March 2013)
[iii] 2 Remmington, R. and Hultman, T. (2007) Hypodermoclysis to treat dehydration: A review of the evidence. JAGS. 55(12), p.2051-2055.
[v] BBC News, UK woefully underprepared for ageing society, say peers, 14th March 2013,
[vi] Andrew Jackson, Hypodermoclysis Review, IVteam, December 2011