Frequently Asked Questions
In what situations would ColorSafe IV Lines be indicated?
This system would be used in the same situation in which current clear tubing is now used. Clear tubing will continue to be used as the main line to deliver fluids that do not contain added medication. When a medication is added to IV fluid, specific, discrete color coated tubing will be used and a corresponding color-matching label will be attached to the bag containing the medication. This will provide another level of safety for the patient. One third of a nurse's time is spent in the complex and time-consuming task of medication administration. The use of ColorSafe IV Lines will translate into saving a considerable amount of time since time would not be lost untangling and identifying the proper IV lines.
Where would this system be used?
ColorSafe IV Lines would be especially useful in critical care specialty areas where multiple medications and fluids are being administered simultaneously. It can also be used effectively in emergency situations where instant identification of the correct line is essential such as lCU, ER, OR, Obstetrics, and ambulance service.
What about cost and savings?
The cost of medication errors is staggering at over $3.5 billion/year. The loss of human life and suffering is unimaginable. To color coat IV tubing will add only pennies to the current cost of clear tubing.
What about MD's and RN's who are color blind?
Total color blindness is extremely rare. In the U.S., red-green color blindness affects 7% of the male population and 0.4% of the female population. Color coding of many products in hospitals is standard; for example syringes, needles, medication vials, oxygen, air and gas cylinders are all colored in some way. These colorblind nurses rely on their ability to read as we all do in caring for our patients. Using ColorSafe IV Lines does not mean that the health care professional does not need to read, it just provides an additional level of safety when giving medication.
My hospital already uses safe infusion pumps. Why do we need color coated tubing?
Safety clamps were designed into infusion pumps because there were cases in which patients were given free flow of medication with ensuing overdosing when the pumps were inadvertently opened. Any safety feature is a good thing. ColorSafe IV Lines will add another level of safety for the patient but not another level of work for the health care professional since they are already using IV tubing. There cannot be too many safety measures in place when caring for patients.
How can I check for sediment or turbidity in my IV solution?
The drip chamber, as well as the Y injection sites, will remain clear just for this purpose. If there if no sediment or turbidity in the bag or drip chamber, then you can be assured that the line is clear. The tubing remains translucent so any particulate matter will be seen.
How will I know into which line to inject IV push medications?
Hospitals will continue to utilize the clear tubing for main lines without medications, so you can always use this line.
What about administering blood, blood products and TPN?
These tubings are already distinctive enough to not need ColorSafe IV Lines.