Oncology Nurse Solves Dangerous IV Safety Problem

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Tracy Lannan, a registered nurse for over three decades, has invented the Spike-Guard, a newsafety product that helps prevent dangerous IV fluid spills, thereby protecting patients and hospitalworkers alike.

Tracy Lannan has recently conceived of the Spike-Guard, a unique protective device for intravenous (IV) units commonly found in hospitals, clinics and increasingly in remote/home use as well. As a longtime oncology nurse, Ms. Lannan is well aware of the day-to-day responsibilities and dangers faced by cancer patients and their caretakers. For many years, she has noticed that, by and large, the medical equipment industry has been neglecting the less-than-secure connection points between intravenous medication tubing and the bag or bottle containing medication/blood product.

The top of the IV drip structure has what’s called a “spike end” that is then linked up to an IV bag or bottle. It is that point of connection, as well as the one further down extending to the drip chamber, that have been problematic in Ms. Lannan’s experience. While other safety issues pertaining to IV therapy have been addressed to one degree or another, Ms. Lannan noticed that those particular points of connection remain as tenuous and unreliable as ever. As such, they continue to generate unpleasant, unsanitary and, considering that some of the treatment fluids in question cost over $20,000 per bag, costly surprises for her and millions of other healthcare workers and patients throughout the country.

Indeed, from messy spills of costly chemotherapy/immunotherapy/biotherapy fluids to safety-related complications that make remote IV therapy less viable and comfortable, Mrs. Lannan has witnessed the consequences of this problem firsthand. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for cancer patients and others who undergo IV therapy to feel frail and lightheaded. When such incidents occur as they are walking with an IV structure beside them, they may grab the tube for support and inadvertently disconnect it from the IV bag or bottle, the contents of which may proceed to spill, as Lannan’s patent application describes the hazard, “onto the patient, the furniture, the floor, the IV pump, and/or soaking the patient’s clothing.”

As suggested by its name, Lannan’s patented Spike-Guard invention helps guard against such accidents. Consisting of an attachable clamp, the device is able to secure the spike by clamping it to the neck of a medication bottle or the stem of a medication bag. The Spike-Guard stabilizes the IV structure in a manner that can withstand the pressure of, for example, a patient grabbing on to a spike for support and does so for both connection points. Furthermore, as both the top and bottom clamps are removable, the Spike Guard is fully portable, versatile and suitable for use on multiple IV structures, if needed. As well, its application is simple enough for almost all patients to complete themselves, such as for cancer patients undergoing remote IV therapy of some sort.

Presently, Mrs. Lannan is communicating with various industry and regulatory stakeholders about the safety benefits of her breakthrough innovation. If you or your organization would like to reach out to her, you may do so through her new website, Spike-Guard.com (http://www.spike-guard.com). As well, through that site, you can gain access to additional Spike-Guard materials – including a brief demonstration video.

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Tracy Lannan
Spike Guard
+1 (603) 234-4599
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