Stopcocks for Infusion Therapy: Evidence and Experience

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Abstract

Stopcocks have been used for decades to deliver infusion therapy in patients of all ages and in all health care settings. During the past 20 years, a growing number of studies have validated concern about the risk of the open lumen allowing intraluminal contamination. Additional studies highlight fluid flow dynamics associated with stopcocks. This integrative literature review and clinician practice survey analyzes the published evidence and reports of actual practices with stopcocks, and raises issues about practice changes that could reduce these risks.

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