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IV Wound Care

<< 2016 Projects

Child-Resistant IV Guard to Prevent Catheter-Related Infection

Need: A way to prevent unwanted catheter removal and bacterial contamination at the catheter insertion site in pediatric patients (ages 3 - 12). 



More than 300 million peripheral intravenous catheters are administered each year in the United States. Although intravenous catheters are necessary for vascular access, they often put patients at risk for local and systemic infections. Current catheter securements predominantly use adhesives, which attract debris and bacteria. In addition, pediatrics patients can easily remove these securements, increasing the chances of site contamination and further complications. We designed a device to prevent unwarranted patient removal of the catheter and bacterial contamination of the catheter insertion site. We developed the “Safety Shell,” a clear, dome-shaped guard that can be placed on top of the catheter insertion site. The guard provides ventilation, visibility, and protection. The disposable shell is secured by two C-shaped locks that have an internal locking mechanism. The locks can only be opened with two hands. The locks are connected by an adjustable fabric band that wraps around the patient’s body. We 3D-printed the components of our device and created a large-scale model of the inner locking mechanism for demonstration purposes. Test subjects’ reviews show that the Safety Shell is comfortable and secure. We placed the shell on test subjects’ forearm, and the shell remained in place when they walked. For future development we will look into designing more efficient locking mechanisms, modifying the shell and band to better fit various catheter sizes and insertion locations, using fluorescent markers to indicate when the device is in contact with pathogenic bacteria, and making interactive shell attachments to appeal to pediatrics patients.


(Left to right) Tanushri Sundar, Annabel Yau, Zhao Shi, and Dylan Lam worked on designing a device to prevent unwarranted child removal of catheters that may lead to bacterial infection. They developed a child-proof "safety shell" that prevents easy removal of catheters.

Click here to see the group's poster.