June 2016

Innovative three-way stopcock for greater patient safety

Patients may rely on intravenous infusions and the supply of fluids for routine health maintenance or for life-saving purposes. A growing problem that hospitals face is the infections that can result from intravenous infusions. To enhance patient safety, Elcam Medical developed a special three-way stopcock. There are two main elements that differentiate the Marvelous™ (MRVLS) stopcock from the competition – a Luer-activated valve that acts as a barrier against bacteria and a novel inner channel that ensures self-flushing and minimized residual volume. Elcam Medical needed a high-performance material to achieve this. To meet requirements such as these, Covestro has developed a line of polycarbonate plastics that has proven effective in the medical technology sector.

Elcam Medical has a long-standing collaborative partnership with Covestro and has once again turned to proven Makrolon® Rx1805 polycarbonate to help realize its innovative product idea. A variety of the polycarbonate’s characteristics make it an ideal material for Elcam Medical’s three-way stopcock. The plastic is highly transparent, has good chemical resistance and can be easily molded. Thanks to its documented biocompatibility, Makrolon® Rx1805 polycarbonate is appropriate for use in medical applications that require contact with body fluids. An additional benefit is the material’s ability to be sterilized with radiation, which adds to patient safety.

New safety concept

The design of the MRVLS stopcock provides a new concept in safety. The special self-sealing valve prevents the backflow of infusion solutions and other fluids, creating an almost-closed system. Doing so practically eliminates the known risk of infection from open and hard-to-flush and clean infusion ports, according to the OEM. The minimal residual volume and continuous flushing of the interior volume of the stopcock through an inner circumferential channel forces the flow to flush the self-sealing valve. This helps in preventing bacterial colonization. The complete rinsing of the drug and air from the system is an added patient safety measure, reducing the chance of drug interactions, unintentional administration of residual drugs and the risk of air emboli.

For more information, visit solutions.covestro.com/en/materials/plastics or email plastics@covestro.com.

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