updated 5/23/2011 12:47:05 PM ET 2011-05-23T16:47:05

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ICU Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICUI) today announced that results of an in-vitro study presented at the 2011 Infusion Nurses Society Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN showed that the ICU Medical® MicroCLAVE® neutral displacement needlefree I.V. connector outperformed all other connectors tested in its ability to provide an effective barrier to bacterial transfer and colonization.1 The MicroCLAVE's ability to provide clinicians with an enhanced level of protection from bacteria being transferred from external surfaces into the patient's bloodstream can be an important benefit in their fight to eliminate catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI).

In the study titled "Differences in Bacterial Transfer and Fluid Path Colonization through Needlefree Connector-Catheter Systems In Vitro," a team of researchers from the Montana State University Center for Biofilm Engineering led by Marcia Ryder PhD, MS, RN, from Ryder Science, compared six needlefree connectors in terms of bacterial transfer and colonization over a 96 hour period. The six connectors tested were the ICU Medical MicroCLAVE, RyMed® InVision®, CareFusion® Smart Site®, CareFusion MaxPlus®, Baxter® ClearLink® and BD® Q-Syte®. Researchers measured the difference between connectors in the passage rate of bacteria from the connector surface through the catheter and into the bloodstream over time, the amount of biofilm formation within the connector, catheter hub and catheter lumen, and the amount of biofilm bacteria within the connector at 72 compared to 96 hours. In all three phases of testing—bacteria transfer, biofilm formation, and biofilm bacteria formation—the ICU Medical MicroCLAVE significantly outperformed all connectors tested.

"The risk of transfer of bacteria from a contaminated connector surface through the hub and catheter lumen and into the bloodstream is dependent on the type of connector used," the researchers reported. "The MicroCLAVE had a significantly lower bacterial transfer rate than all other connectors."

Also, when analyzing the amount of bacterial formation over a 96 hour period, researchers found that the MicroCLAVE had the lowest bacterial log density of all connectors measured, while the CareFusion MaxPlus, BD Q-Syte and RyMed InVision maintained the highest bacterial counts during the 72-96 hour period.

The researchers concluded that biofilm formation in the catheter hub and internal lumen can result from bacteria transferred through a needlefree connector and that biofilm formation within the connector is the best predictor of the number of bacteria flushed into the bloodstream. They also concluded that the frequency of connector exchange may be dependent on the bacterial transfer potential of each device design, "which brings into question the 72 hour CDC exchange recommendation." And finally, they stated that "the common classification of split septum and mechanical valve is an over-simplification and an unreliable approach for device selection."

1 Ryder, et al, Differences in Bacterial Transfer and Fluid Path Colonization through Needlefree Connector-Catheter Systems In Vitro, Poster presented at the 2011 Infusion Nurses Society (INS) Annual Conference, Abstract 4987

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