Smiths Medical – being prepared for new ISO safety standards
Hospitals and healthcare providers will soon begin seeing a wave of new safety standards from the International Standards Organisation (ISO) regarding small-bore connectors, commonly referred to as Luer connectors. Smiths Medical is actively working so that healthcare providers are up to speed, and prepared, for these forthcoming changes.
The widely used Luer connector allows for misconnections and misinjections between unrelated delivery systems with vastly different uses. For example, a neuraxial misconnection would be when drugs intended for the intravenous route are administered via the spinal or epidural route, or where local anaesthetic intended for the epidural or regional block is administered intravenously. When patients receive the wrong drug the results can be catastrophic, causing injury or, in some cases, death.
Smiths Medical is committed to supporting healthcare professionals who have responsibility for administering and supervising the use of the new design small-bore connectors, helping them get up to speed with the new international standards. Smiths Medical is also helping to educate healthcare professionals, in preparation for the introduction of new neuraxial-specific connectors.
The Joint Commission recently issued Sentinel Event Alert 53  regarding managing risk during transition to new ISO tubing connector standards. This is the result of a sweeping, industry-wide effort to eliminate a significant patient safety hazard due to connector-related misconnections and misinjections. The ISO is expected to publish the design standard for neuraxial-specific connectors in the summer of 2015.
In advance of the new ISO standards, Smiths Medical is continuing to provide hospital trusts with its CorrectInject Spinal Safety System, which has been used in the NHS since its launch in 2011.
CorrectInject Spinal Safety System
The CorrectInject Spinal Safety System’s unique interlocking connectors allow only medication delivered with a CorrectInject syringe to reach the patient through the spinal needle. Connections of the CorrectInject Spinal Safety System are distinctly different from standard Luer connections commonly used on medical products and help prevent misconnections.
The CorrectInject Spinal Safety System is a dedicated neuraxial connector system. The system consists of components that have a unique non-Luer taper that allows connection of compatible CorrectInject components that, when used together as a system, help reduce the risk of misconnection and the chance of injecting medication not intended for the spinal space.
1. Managing risk during transition to new ISO tubing connector standards, Sentinel Event Alert, The Joint Commission, Issue 53, 20 August 2014
Further information relating to the new ISO safety standards can be found by visiting the website of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), which is leading the small-bore connectors initiative – www.aami.org/hottopics/connectors.
For more information on the CorrectInject Spinal Safety System, and how Smiths Medical can support you through these forthcoming changes, contact Glen Johnson, UK marketing manager
T: 01233 722 100