Needleless Connectors Substantially Reduce Flow of Crystalloid and Red Blood Cells During Rapid Infusion

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Although needleless connectors (NC) are frequently used in the perioperative setting, the potential of modern NCs to slow delivery of IV fluids has not been thoroughly studied. We examined flow characteristics of 5 NC models during pressurized delivery of crystalloid and banked red blood cells from a Level 1®warmer through various IV catheters. Crystalloid flow rates were reduced by 29% to 85% from control in catheters >18 gauge, while red blood cell flow reductions ranged from 22% to 76% in these catheters (all P < 0.0050). We suggest that practitioners consider eliminating NCs when large IV catheters are inserted for rapid fluid administration.

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