Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) infusion set
IV sets manufacturers use PVC to produce infusion sets to achieve high strength, flexibility, transparency, easy sealing, good resistance to sterilization procedures, and comparatively low cost.
However, the infusion sets made of PVC and DEHP cause the lowering of the drug’s quantity to enter the patient’s system because of the process known as adsorption.
However, the expected chemical bonding between the DEHP and PVC does not occur. Consequently, the DEHP molecules easily detach themselves from the infusion set materials, brought about by leaching, and enter the systems of the patient together with the infusion fluid.
As previously established in some studies, DEHP has several toxic effects, such as damaging the infant’s genital system.
By itself, exposure to PVC causes several adverse health effects, and the addition of plasticizers makes them worse. These adverse health effects include the following:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Disruption in reproductive and developmental processes
- Several forms of allergies common in children
- Brain cancer
- Scleroderma (hardening of connective tissues)
- Malignant tumors.
DEHP-Free infusion set
Some IV set manufacturers ensure that patients receive fluid and drug infusions free from DEHP to protect them from possible toxicities. Thus, the IV set manufacturers design the whole infusion line, including the drip chamber and the tubing, free from DEHP.
The administration of two chemotherapy drugs, Taxol and Taxotere, causes and promotes the separation of DEHP from the infusion set. Thus, infusion sets used for cancer patients need to be free from DEHP throughout the IV fluid path.
Usually, we can know whether it’s DEHP or DEHP-free IV set by looking for the label on the packing. It can help us identify products very well.