Reduce Occlusions

Reduce Occlusions

Infusion Therapy

Reducing catheter occlusions can be an important step in your efforts to enhance patient safety and improve outcomes.

The Challenge

The Challenge

Blood Reflux is a Key Cause of Catheter Occlusions

Despite continued efforts by healthcare practitioners, occlusions in central line catheters (CVCs and PICCs) remain a significant issue that can result in delays in critical patient care, increased risk of infection, and increased healthcare costs. One important cause of catheter occlusion is blood reflux,1 or when blood backs up into the catheter. Blood reflux can lead to an intraluminal thrombus, which may result in an inability to infuse IV fluids/medications. An occluded catheter may also lead to an inability to withdraw blood.

Current Technologies are Limited in Their Ability to Reduce Blood Reflux into a Catheter

Some devices on the market, including positive pressure needlefree connectors, attempt to address the problem, but fail to address all causes of reflux. For example, positive pressure devices only impact blood reflux when a syringe or administration set is disconnected.

Our Solution

Our Solution

Maintaining catheter patency and minimizing occlusions can be important steps in your efforts to enhance patient safety and improve outcomes.

The 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. By preventing reflux, Neutron may help your efforts to enhance patient care and safety by reducing the risk of catheter occlusions. Reducing catheter occlusions can help minimize delay in therapy and procedures, minimize unnecessary patient discomfort, reduce length of stay, and decrease the need for and risks of declotting agents.

In a pilot study to determine whether the unique design features of the Neutron will provide prolonged catheter patency when compared to both a positive displacement connector (MaxPlus®, CareFusion, Inc.) and a neutral displacement connector (InVision-Plus®, RyMed, Inc.), only the Neutron devices tested remained occlusion free for the entire 11-day period of this experiment.5 None of the MaxPlus devices maintained catheter patency past seven days, with one device failing at five days and the other at six days. Only one of the InVision-Plus devices maintained patency through the entire 11-day period, with one device failing at six days and the other at eight days. Based upon this preliminary pilot study, the Neutron Catheter Patency Device may provide clinicians with superior catheter patency performance when compared to a positive displacement (MaxPlus) and a neutral displacement (InVision-Plus) device.

Reducing Catheter Occlusions with the Neutron Catheter Patency Device May Provide Real-Time Clinical Benefits

Avoid Delays in Critical Patient Care

Neutron may help avoid delays in therapy of critical intravenous medications (e.g., antibiotics and oncolytics), nutritional support, and blood products.

  • Neutron may help avoid delays in procedures and increased length of stay by decreasing unnecessary interventions, including administration of t-PA or other corrective actions.

Avoid Patient Discomfort and Pain

Neutron may help avoid patient discomfort and pain caused by unnecessary needlesticks, catheter restarts, and manipulating the IV site.

Because Neutron reduces the risk of thrombotic occlusions, patients may be less likely to require the use of declotting agents.

Avoid Unnecessary Costs

  • Neutron may help minimize unnecessary costs that add up when treating an occlusion, such as:
  • Cost of staff time related to clinical intervention.
  • Cost of t-PA or other declotting agents.
  • Wasted medications such as time-sensitive oncolytics and blood products.
  • Increased patient stay from interruptions in therapy and catheter restarts.

Help Reduce Risk of Infection

In addition to taking advantage of ICU Medical's patented design features shown to provide a safe and effective microbial barrier, Neutron may help reduce the risk of infection by:

  • Preventing thrombosis, which is a breeding ground for infection.
  • Minimizing IV line manipulation as an entry point for bacteria.

Potential Clinical Cost Savings with the Neutron Catheter Patency Device

With a reduced risk of catheter occlusions, there is decreased need for expensive declotting agents such as tPA, along with incremental clinical costs associated with managing catheter occlusions. A scenario illustrating the potential cost savings associated with switching to Neturon catheter patency device for a hospital placing 2,000 central lines per year reveals that switching to Neutron could save the facility approximately $238,730 per year.6

The calculations assume a cost of $206 per tPA dose, an occlusion reduction of 50% using the Neutron, an average tPA success rate of 82%, a device replacement cost of $1,388, and a per-day inpatient cost of $1,853.6

Blood reflux is a key cause of catheter thrombotic occlusions that risk patient safety, clinical outcomes, and cost-efficient care. The Neutron catheter patency device is unique in its ability to significantly reduce all types of reflux into a catheter, and may help to significantly reduce costs associated with tPA treatments and catheter replacements.


Clinical Evidence


  1. 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.
  2. Stephens LC, Haire WD, Kotulak GD. Are Clinical Signs Accurate Indicators of the Cause of Central Venous Catheter Occlusion? JPEN. 19:75-79, 1995.
  3. Haire W, Herbst S. Use of Alteplase (t-PA) for the Management of Thrombotic Catheter Dysfunction: Guidelines from a Consensus Conference of the National Association of Vascular Access Networks (NAVAN). Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 15:265-275, December 2000.
  4. ICU Medical Study Summary. Observational In-Vivo Evaluation of the Neutron™ Needlefree Catheter Patency Device and its Effects on Catheter Occlusions in a Home Care Setting, 2011.
  5. ICU Medical Study Summary. A pilot study evaluation of three needlefree IV connectors and their ability to maintain catheter patency over an 11-day period, 2011.
  6. ICU Medical White Paper. Utilizing the Neutron™ Catheter Patency Device to Reduce the Clinical Costs Associated with Central Line Catheter Occlusion, 2012.

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