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What Is A Luer Lock Connector?

kinds of Luer lock connectors

What is a Luer lock connector?

As part of the IV set, a Luer lock connector is a device that connects a needle or a catheter to plastic tubing. An IV set with a Luer lock connector is called a Luer lock IV set. The needle or the catheter serves as the female fitting, which has tabs or threads, making it possible to be screwed on the male part. In another saying, the stable attachment in Luer lock fittings is achieved by having the tabbed hub on the female fitting screwed on the sleeve threads of the male fitting. With this design, the needle or catheter could be removed and detached from the tube at any time. It can also be screwed back at any time without compromising the connection’s stability and firmness. From the picture below or the IV set diagram, we can know where it is located and how it works.

IV sets with rotating luer lock connector

The Luer lock fittings—the male and the female parts—are provided with interlocking threads that connect. The male Luer lock connector is provided with an external housing with internal threads. In contrast, the female Luer lock connector has external threads. When one of the fittings is rotated, the two fittings are drawn together, tightening the seal. More rotations are done, ending with the two fittings’ mechanical attachment. This results in a secure and leak-proof connection that can only be detached by untwisting the two elements to disengage the threads.

Luer lock connectors
Luer lock connectors

Luer lock connector vs. Luer slip connector

Luer connector consists of two types: (1) Luer slip connector and (2) Luer lock connector. The forerunner of the Luer lock connector was the Luer slip connector. The Luer slip connector was designed and created in the 1900s, while the Luer lock connector was first developed in 1930. Functionally, the two devices seem to be similar to each other. Still, structurally, they are different because the Luer lock connector has threads that provide a firm connection and a more secure fit to its counterpart, while the Luer slip connector does not. The Luer slip’s ability to hang on to its counterpart depends on the 6 percent taper fitting that it has, but this does not ensure a firm and stable connection.

Luer lock connector vs. Luer slip connector
Luer lock connector vs. Luer slip connector

General Uses and Advantages

1.   Allows Easier Maintenance of the Tubing: When some obstruction takes place in the tubing, it can be managed easily by disconnecting without disturbing the catheter or needle at the site of insertion.

2.  Provides Secure Connection Even Under Pressure: The Luer lock connector provides a more secure connection than the so-called Luer slip in situations wherein the medications being injected or infused are kept under pressure.

3.  Decreases  Rates of  Infections: Based on the study of Sunny Eloot et al. of Ghent University in Belgium in 2007, Luer lock connectors significantly prevent the entry of infections when used in long-term catheterizations, such as in hemodialysis.

When a patient has a long-term catheterization, one of the most common complications is infections starting at the catheter hub. When infections occur, this prolongs the patient’s stay in the hospital, entailing more significant expenses from both the patient and the government. Thus, research was conducted by Richard Hankins, MD et al. in 2017, whose main objective was to find out the effect of changing the lever lock system, which had caused 41.9% bacterial infections among patients with the Luer lock catheter system. After three (3) days, the rate of infection was re-evaluated. In their paper titled “Microbial Colonization of Intravenous Luer Lock Connector During Active Infusions Among Hospitalized Patients,” published in October 2017, it was reported that the rate of bacterial infections was reduced to 23%.   

4. Offers Lesser Resistance: It does not significantly offer resistance to the flow of intravenous fluid.

5.  Secures Firm and Stable Connection: It ensures that the needle or catheter attached to the plastic tubing remains in place and connected while a certain drug or treatment is being infused.

Kinds

There are four basic kinds of male Luer lock connectors we have:

  1. Rotating Luer lock connector
  2. Luer lock connector wherein the plastic tube can be inserted into the connector
  3. Luer lock connector, wherein the connector is inserted in the plastic tube
  4. Luer lock connector, wherein the connector is inserted into the plastic tube or rubber bulb

Features and Benefits of Each Kind

Rotating Luer lock connector

This connector is provided with a rotating housing or collar, which is equipped with internal threads. When the head of the needle is inserted in the male component, the two fittings are firmly locked and attached when the housing is rotated clockwise.

Rotating luer lock connector
Rotating Luer lock connector

Luer lock connector wherein the plastic tube can be inserted into the connector

The plastic tubing is inserted in the lumen or cavity of the connector, and the two elements are firmly locked. This kind of connector is very useful when the tubing has a smaller diameter than the lumen of the connector.

Luer lock connector
Luer lock connector

Luer lock connector, wherein the connector is inserted in the plastic tube

The connector is inserted in the lumen or cavity of the plastic tube, and the two elements are firmly locked and attached. This connector is very useful when the diameter of the tubing is larger than the connector.

Luer lock connector
Luer lock connector

Luer lock connector, wherein the connector is inserted into the plastic tube or rubber bulb

The connector is inserted in the lumen or cavity of the plastic tube or rubber bulb which is an injection port of the IV tubing set. The assembly machine plays a crucial role in the assembly process of connecting the rubber bulb to either a Luer lock or Luer slip connector. The advantage of this is that the connector is more cost-effective as it has two functions.

Luer lock connector with rubber bulb
Luer lock connector with rubber bulb

Company Introduction



Liaoning KANGYI Medical Equipment Co., Ltd was founded in 1994 and is one of the leading manufacturers of IV sets, syringes, and medical parts in China. Quality is our highest priority, and our quality assurance system is certified and meets the standards of the Chinese National Medical Products Administration, ISO 13485, and the European Union’s CE mark.

We produce over 600 million pieces per year. Our products are sold across China and exported worldwide, to destinations including Europe, South America, Russia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Our company employs over 300 staff, including 50 people working in engineering and technical management. Our premises occupy an area of 20,000 square meters, with a construction area of 15,000 square meters. This space includes a 100,000-class purification workshop that occupies 8,000 square meters.

If you want to know more about us and talk face to face, we welcome you to visit our booth in CMEF Shanghai and Hospitalar in Brazil.

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