The Challenge

Placement of a vascular access device increases the risk of bloodstream infection.


Nearly all hospitalized patients have some type of vascular access device inserted to support their treatment and approximately 87 percent of bloodstream infections are associated with the presence of some type of intravascular device.1 The CDC estimates approximately 250,000 incidents of Catheter Related Bloodstream Infections (CRBSI) occur annually in the United States.2 Although attributable mortality due to CRBSIs is not clear, these infections have been associated with higher costs, mortality rates, and number of hospital-days.2,3

Our Solution

The design of your needlefree intravenous (IV) connectors plays a substantial role in your ability to limit hospital-acquired bloodstream infections (HA-BSI).4

Each of our Infusion Therapy products is carefully designed to keep patients and healthcare workers safe by providing a needlefree mechanically and microbiologically closed system for vascular access applications. Our closed needlefree connectors feature pioneering reversed split-septum, Reduce bacteriastraight internal fluid path technology to significantly reduce the ingress and colonization of bacteria. Not only do these devices provide enhanced patient safety through innovative needlefree technology, but they have also been proven to provide an effective microbial barrier against bacteria transfer and contamination.5,6

In a study of the bacteria transfer and biofilm formation properties of needle free connectors, ICU Medical's MicroClave outperformed all connectors tested in terms of bacteria transfer, biofilm formation, and biofilm bacteria formation, proving to provide an effective barrier to bacterial transfer and colonization.  In the study, researchers pointed to MicroClave's ability to provide clinicians with an enhanced level of protection from bacteria being transferred from external surfaces into the patient's bloodstream as an important benefit in their fight to eliminate catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs).5

ConnectorOverall Mean Log (CFU/Flush)*p Value
MicroClave 2.5 ≤0.0001
SmartSite 3.6 ≥0.0677
ClearLink 3.6 ≥0.0677
Invision-Plus 3.8 ≥0.0677
Maximus 4 ≥0.0677
Q-Syte 4.8 ≤0.0001
ConnectorConnector Log DensityHub Log DensityCatheter Log Density
MicroClave 2.123 1.871 1.011
ClearLink 2.591 2.368 1.101
Maximus 3.432 2.398 1.980
SmartSite 2.878 2.629 1.386
InVision-Plus 3.306 3.046 1.391
Q-Syte 3.348 3.159 2.223

*calculated as the Least Squares Mean

In addition, thrombus formation is linked to increased risk of catheter-related bloodstream infections for patients. Fibrin, blood components, and biofilm can amass,7 creating a rich culture medium for bacterial growth that has been shown to directly result in microorganisms entering the bloodstream.8 Our Neutron catheter patency device is the only device FDA-cleared to prevent multiple forms of reflux into a catheter and utilize ICU Medical’s patented needlefree connector technology.


Webinars & Presentations


Needle-free Connectors: Split Septum vs. Mechanical Valve…Can this classification model predict infection risk? 

By Marcia Ryder, PhD MS RN. APIC 2010 Satellite Symposium, Tuesday, July 13th, 2010. Running time: 1hr. 27min


Vascular Access...Connection Without Infection!

By Marcia Ryder, PhD MS RN, Research Coordinator at the Center for Medical Biofilm Research University of Southern California. Running time: 58min.


  1. Ryder, M. Catheter-related infections: It's all about biofilm. Topics Adv Pract Nurse Journal. 2005 [cited 2006 Sept 11]; 5(3). Available
  2. Blot SI, Depuydt P, Annemans L, et al. Clinical and economic outcomes in critically ill patients with nosocomial catheter-related bloodstream infections. Clin Infect Dis 2005;41:1591-1598.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections among patients in intensive care units-Pennsylvania, April 2001-March 2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2005;54:1013-1016.
  4. Jarvis W, MD. Choosing the Best Design for Intravenous Needleless Connectors to Prevent Bloodstream Infections. Infection Control Today, August 2010 ( choosing-the-best-design-for-intravenous-needleless-connectors-to-prevent-bloodstream-infections.aspx.)
  5. Ryder M, James G, Pulchini E, Bickle L, Parker A. Differences in bacterial transfer and fluid path colonization through needlefree connector-catheter systems in vitro. Presented at the Infusion Nursing Society Meeting, May 2011.
  6. Moore C, RN, MBA, CIC. Maintained Low Rate of Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections (CR-BSIs) After Discontinuation of a Luer Access Device (LAD) At an Academic Medical Center. Poster presented at the annual Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Conference 2010, Abstract 4-028.
  7. Gorski, Lisa A MS, RN, CS, CRNI. Central Venous Access Device Occlusions: Part 1: Thrombotic causes and treatment. Home Healthcare Nurse. 21:2;115-121, February 2003.
  8. Ryder M. The role of biofilm in vascular catheter-related infections. N Dev Vasc Dis. 2001;2:15-25.