Needleless I.V. systems have dramatically reduced the risk of needle-stick injuries, but their use can lead to dangerous omissions in technique such as these:
* failure to place a sterile cap on the tip of a reusable administration set that's been removed from a primary administration set, intermittent vascular device, or I.V. catheter hub and left hanging between uses. This exposes the tip to contaminants that could enter the patient's I.V. line when the tubing is reconnected.
* failure to aseptically clean I.V. injection or access ports. This also poses a risk of microorganisms entering the patient's vascular system.
* looping, intended to maintain sterility, a practice of attaching the exposed end of I.V. tubing to a port on the same tubing. This technique isn't recommended by the Infusion Nurses Society; you shouldn't use it unless your facility's infection control committee endorses it.
Facility policies and procedures for administering I.V. medications should include placing a sterile cap on the tip of the administration tubing every time it's disconnected and details on how to aseptically clean the injection or access port.
Infusion Nurses Society. Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.