Guaranteed it works, if not, get $100,000..

We’ve all heard it before…in healthcare, anything can happen, hence there is no guarantee. Well, that is until the press release for a new needlefree catheter patency device called “Neutron” came out on Oct. 4, 2011. Click here for the press release.

Neutron, according to its manufacturer ICU Medical,  is the world’s first and only device with FDA 510k clearance to claim the ability to prevent fluid displacement during an IV bag run-dry, infusion pump stop, or patient vascular pressure changes caused by coughing, sneezing or movement — all of which have been associated with loss of catheter patency.

Blood reflux into a catheter is a common problem in IV therapy, and has been shown to contribute to numerous complications including biofilm formation, clotting, and intraluminal thrombotic occlusions that can lead to increased healthcare costs and potential delays in essential treatment. Because of an innovative design that maintains a constant neutral pressure at all times, the Neutron helps maintain catheter patency during times when traditional connectors have been shown to occlude most often.

This product release came with a $100,000.00 Performance Guarantee from the manufacturer to encourage early adoption of this new technology.  If a healthcare facility does not experience a reduction in catheter occlusion rates in the fist three months after converting all of its central IV lines to the Neutron technology, the manufacturer will pay that facility $100,000.00!!!  Not a bad deal….but of course, there are terms and conditions and a commitment to sharing the facility’s occlusion data before and after conversion.

Just in case you’re wondering what “neutral pressure” means – well its actually not generating pressure or force during fluid movement. The connectors are considered neutral because the device prevents blood reflux into the catheter upon connection and disconnection of IV sets or syringe.

Compared to a “positive fluid displacement” device- which are connectors with mechanical valves designed to produce a positive fluid displacement upon disconnection of the IV set or syringe. Upon disconnection, the fluid in the valve is pushed out to the catheter lumen to remove the blood that has refluxed. Blood can still move into the catheter tip but the displacement valve prevents blood from staying inside and causing occlusion.

And then there’s  “negative fluid displacement” – connectors have fluid inside the device either from an IV solution or flush solution. The connectors allow for negative fluid displacement, which means that blood will be pulled back into the catheter lumen and this occurs while the IV administration set is connected, when fluid container is empty and IV set remains connected, or when IV set or syringe is disconnected (blood reflux). When blood is allowed to stay inside the lumen of the catheter, this can lead to catheter occlusion.

Win-win?? Perhaps, if this product doesn’t get the clinician’s attention, their money guarantee will get “C” level attention!!!


1. ICU Medical Press Release: October 4, 2011:

2. Neutron Product Information: 

Disclaimer: This blog entry is not an endorsement of this product. I have no relationship whatsoever with the manufacturer of this product and I would highly recommend evaluating the product yourselves.

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