The clamp is an IV part applied to infusion and transfusion set with an on/off function to initiate or terminate the flow of fluid through the line without any fluid contact.
The flow regulator is an IV component applied to infusion/transfusion equipment to control fluid flow through the line with no fluid contact.
TYPES OF CLAMPS:
Clamps and flow regulators are designed primarily based on their application in controlling the rate of fluid transfer in infusion set. They are safe for use and do not puncture the flexible tube while in operation.
- Pinch clamp
- Slide clamp
- Roller clamp or Flow regulator
It is used in IV sets to control the rate of flow of the fluid. We produce pinch clamp flow valves in a way that they can be used with flexible tubes that work in low-pressure application devices.
The materials used in making clamps are Polypropylene and Polyoxymethylene (POM). Pinch clamps are manufactured with resistant and rigid plastic with no ragged or sharp edges. Unitized construction protects the clamps from rust, corroding, and distortion.
FUNCTIONS OF A PINCH CLAMP:
- Enables precise fluid regulation
- It is economical
- Easily operated with one hand
- It is autoclavable. The heat tolerance is comparable with the highest laboratory standards.
It is used when we want to stop the IV infusion from flowing entirely. With a slide clamp, the line can be opened or closed by moving the clamp horizontally. We can pinch the tubing completely shut when we slide the tubing into the clamp’s narrowest part. The slide clamp cannot make slight adjustments in the flow rate. The disadvantage of a slide clamp is that it can cause crimping or crease in the tube, which can be hazardous.
The materials used in slide clamps are high-density polyethylene, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), and polypropylene. They are manufactured in a way that they are heat resistant and compatible with all the sterilization processes.
FUNCTIONS OF A SLIDE CLAMP:
- Slide clamp enables an on/off function to stop or start a fluid flow
- It is safe with no hazards of cutting or sharp edges
- It is economical
- It can be easily operated with one hand
ROLLER CLAMP AND FLOW REGULATOR:
The roller clamp is what we use to control the rate at which the IV fluid infuses. The roller clamp closes the flexible tubing in increments by pinching the tube as it is tightened. All roller clamps on a set of IV tubing should be closed before we attach the IV bag fluid at the top of the tubing so that no air gets into the tubing. The clamp is designed to keep the infusion rate constant between adjustments by holding the tube in place.
A right-quality roller clamp enables precise fluid regulation by narrowing the tube lumen by compression without damaging the tubing and stopping the drip when needed. The accuracy of standard roller clamps can be +/- 10%. The accuracy also depends on the patient’s movement, ambulation, patient transfer, and the volume of fluid and height of the fluid container. Therefore, flow regulators are most precise when used in inactive patients.
The infusion rate has to be closely monitored and corrected because various factors like venous pressure changes, spasms of the vein, patient movement, accidental manipulation of the clamp, and kinking of the tube can lead to marked variation in the rate of flow.
The flow regulator usually controls the delivery of fluid in drops per minute. It can also be set to deliver the infusion at milliliter per hour.
The placement of roller clamp should be in the upper third and closer to the container as it is convenient and remains out of the patient’s way, thereby preventing accidental manipulation. The flow rate can become too slow if the IV container is too low or the patient’s arm or leg is too high and not below the heart level.
We should prevent the problem of “cold creep” by moving the roller clamp to an unused portion of the tube between rate adjustments of the infusion.
The materials used in roller clamps are Polyethylene and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
FUNCTIONS OF A FLOW REGULATOR:
- They adjust the flow of fluid between zero and maximum
- There shall be no adverse reaction between the tubing and the flow regulator during storage when there is contact
- It can be used continuously without damage to the tubing
- Flow regulators protect tube crimping, cold creep, and drifting
- It is easily operable with one hand