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I.V. Drug Delivery Takes Another Evolutionary Step

Fri, 10/13/2006 - 9:50am
I.V. containers have not experienced significant change since the introduction of plastic to replace glass in the 70s. This I.V. bag offers a variety of features that address many concerns healthcare providers have with today’s more traditional options.

Hospira Inc. a leading global hospital products manufacturer, offers its VISIV flexible intravenous (I.V.) container. This next generation container's advanced technology and patient- and clinician-focused design were developed to assist hospitals in their efforts to improve patient safety, advance caregiver safety and efficiency, and increase environmental responsibility.

"The VISIV container is the result of several years of research and development within Hospira in response to our customers' feedback," said John Arnott, senior vice president, Global Commercial Operations, Hospira. "We consider this to be the most significant improvement to the I.V. container since the switch from glass to plastic in the 1970s."

I.V. containers, which are commonly referred to as "I.V. bags," are used to help administer medications and solutions to patients. Ninety percent of all hospital patients receive some form of I.V. therapy.

The VISIV container's built-in patient- and caregiver-safety features help to increase patient well-being and enable greater medication delivery efficiency. Features of this device include:

  • No overwrap helps caregivers provide intravenous therapy to patients more rapidly, by eliminating the steps of removing and discarding the overwrap.
  • Ergonomic pull-rings covering the sterile ports (such as the medication additive port, where the caregiver injects the medication into the container) help reduce the risk of touch contamination and, potentially, healthcare acquired infections.
  • The container's sterile ports provide another potential benefit to the patient, as medication can be immediately added to the container.
  • The tamper-evident port system provides visual evidence to caregivers that a medication has not been added to the VISIV container.

    With a standard flexible I.V. container, an external overwrap is used as a moisture barrier. Through its multilayer plastic film, the VISIV container is the first plastic large-volume flexible I.V. container to require no overwrap. The container results in approximately 40% to 60% less waste than other flexible I.V. containers, helping reduce hospitals' environmental impact and disposal fees. On average, U.S. hospitals generate 6,600 tons of waste each day, of which nearly 800 tons are plastic products.

    Furthermore, the VISIV container offers virtually impenetrable port tubes with a greater needlestick protective area for medication additives. Together, these features help protect caregivers from accidental needlestick injuries, a common on-the-job hazard for healthcare workers and a source of many work-related injuries.

    "In critical care situations, every second can literally be the difference between life and death for a patient, and all of the VISIV container's innovative features were designed to help improve the safety and efficiency of intravenous medication delivery," said Arnott.For hospitals seeking alternatives to containers made of glass or containing DEHP or PVC, the VISIV container is made from PVC- and DEHP-free materials that provide the thermal stability, moisture-barrier properties, and inertness required for I.V. medications. For example, the VISIV container can be used for select medications that cannot be delivered in standard PVC flexible containers due to reactions between the container material and the medications.

    Hospira has received FDA approval to offer several of the most commonly used I.V. solutions in the VISIV container. The company expects to steadily increase the number of products available in the VISIV container over the next several years.
    A Look at the Solution Provider
    Hospira Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company dedicated to “Advancing Wellness” by developing, manufacturing, and marketing products that help improve the productivity, safety, and efficacy of patient care. With 70 years of service to the hospital industry, Hospira's portfolio includes one of the industry's broadest lines of generic acute-care injectables, which help address the high cost of proprietary pharmaceuticals; integrated solutions for medication management and infusion therapy; and the leading U.S. injectable contract manufacturing business. Headquartered in Lake Forest, IL, the company has approximately 13,000 employees and 14 manufacturing facilities worldwide.

    ONLINE
    For additional information on the technologies and products discussed in this article, visit Hospira Inc. at www.hospira.com.

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