Table of Contents

Types Of IV Sets

iv giving set

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) infusion set

Properties and beneficial effects

A PVC product without plasticizers is hard and brittle at room temperature. With plasticizers, it becomes flexible. Plasticizers are additives, most commonly in the form of phthalate ester, that intersperse themselves in between the chains of polymers, pushing them apart, thus making them significantly softer.1

The PVC admixed within the materials used for infusion sets provides high strength, flexibility, transparency, easy sealing, good resistance to sterilization procedures, and comparatively low cost. Manufacturers of infusion sets want to avail of those properties; thus, they create use of PVC.2

Adverse effects

Infusion sets made from PVC have adverse effects on medications delivered through the intravenous set. This IV device compromises the dose of drugs that ought to be received by the patient. The reduction of drugs happens due to two phenomena: adsorption and leaching.1

When medications do not stay in suspension, they attach themselves to the inner surface or side of the IV sets, referred to as adsorption, because of PVC. In other words, the PVC attracts the drug molecules to attach themselves to the IV set’s inner lining. This event causes an uneven distribution of the drug within the IV fluid, compromising the prescribed amount of the patient’s medication. Subsequently, the patient receives a lesser amount of the prescribed drug(s). Some drugs adsorbed to the IV sets are diazepam, insulin, nitroglycerin, and thiopental sodium.1

The addition of bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) to the PVC-based infusion devices provides flexibility to the finished materials. However, chemical bonding between the DEHP and the PVC does not happen.2 Consequently, leaching occurs. Leaching refers to the release of DEHP from the IV sets made of PVC. DEHP mixes with the drug in solution, and it causes a wide range of toxic effects. For one, it can compromise the infant’s genital system.1    

Polyolefin thermoplastic elastomer infusion set

Properties and beneficial effects

The polymers include the thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) that show immediate and reversible deformation. This characteristic pins it down as an elastomer. Thermoplastic elastomers include (1) multi-block copolymers and (2) blends. The polyolefin belongs to the group of blends,3 and it offers high impact resistance, low density, and good chemical resistance.4 Polyolefin serves as a good alternative for PVC because it does not contain DEHP.2

Adverse effects

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI, 2006) conducted a study on the possible replacement of medical devices containing DEHP or PVC. The Institute investigated polyolefin elastomers, among other materials. Still, the study did not provide a definitive conclusion on their medical device applications. Scientists have long established the adverse health effects of DEHP and PVC. Thus, other flexible polymers, like polyolefin, have been getting and attracting the eye of investigators to use them as possible replacements for flexible PVC.5

The polyolefin thermoplastic elastomer infusion set does not release DEHP. In addition, it has no drug absorption due to its good chemical resistance.4 Thus, medical workers can use it for all infusion treatments.   

Light-proof infusion set

Properties and beneficial effects

The light-proof infusion set also called the light-resistant infusion set, possesses structures that protect its contents from the damaging effects of light. These infusion sets protect photo-sensitive drugs from photochemical degradation or destruction, like paclitaxel, cisplatin, aminophylline, and sodium nitroprusside.

Precision filter infusion set

Properties and beneficial effects

The precision filter infusion set provides a safer infusion of liquefied medicine compared to different kinds. It achieves this excellent degree of safety by installing a precision filter that screens the intravenous fluid from particles that might cause adverse reactions to the body. This commendable property does not only protect the patients from unnecessary harm; it saves time for clinical nurses who could have been moving around and dealing overtime to manage patients plagued by adverse reactions. Adverse reactions could be in the form of redness, swelling, and pain around the insertion site.7

Multi-needle infusion set

The multi-needle infusion set belongs to multi-furcated steel needle infusion sets. It serves as a conveyance route for immunoglobulins (IgG) to treat immune deficiency. It makes it possible to deliver large volumes of immunoglobulins over a brief period. Using this infusion set will only take one to 2 hours to complete the infusion.8  

Self-exhausting infusion set

The self-exhausting infusion set automatically removes gas from the intravenous fluid. This extra capability occurs because of an exhaust pipe installed inside the drip chamber. When the liquid trickles down into the drip chamber, the exhaust pipe automatically sucks the additional gas, thereby ensuring that no gas goes with the intravenous fluid as it enters the patient’s vascular system. This technology serves a dual purpose: (1) it provides safety, and (2) it saves time for the clinical nurses and other medical staff who could have been very busy removing the gas from the IV bag and flexible tube.

Micro-dose adjustable infusion set

The micro-dose adjustable infusion set also referred to as a micro-drip adjustable infusion set, offers safety and comparatively low operational expenditures and costs. Up to the current day, some medical institutions still use gravity-driven macro-drip systems. A roller clamp controls the flow, and medical staff monitors the flow rate by observing the speed of drop formation within the dripping chamber. This infusion set delivers around 15 drops per ml, and the medical team uses this kind of infusion set for volume replacement. However, this IV system has an inherent danger: over-administration of fluids.10

Thus, medical device companies developed the micro-dose adjustable infusion set to avoid over-administration of fluids. Additionally, it allows better control of flow rates, and it does not readily allow for rapid fluid administration. It can afford to deliver a flow of 60 drops per ml.10

Screw interface infusion set

The screw interface infusion set prevents the accidental dislodgement or removal of the venous needle or catheter from the distal end of the infusion set. In addition, it ensures a leakage-free infusion. All of these advantages stem from the use of a screw interface.

The screw interface functions like a Luer lock. It will help ensure that the venous needle or catheter will remain secure throughout the administration process of a certain treatment.11  

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