Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Emergency guidance issued on arterial line use

  • Comment
The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has issued emergency guidance on arterial line use following reports of problems with infusions and sampling.

From January 2005 to January 2008, the agency had reports of two deaths and 82 incidents where the wrong infusion fluid was attached to the arterial line.

A further 76 incidents, including one of serious harm related to faulty sampling technique and all of these incidents were reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS).

The Rapid Response Report calls for immediate action by medical and nursing directors in the NHS and the independent sector to ensure only competent, trained staff sample from arterial lines.

Arterial infusion lines must be clearly identified and that any infusion is checked before administration.

Staff should use only sodium chloride 0.9% to keep lines open and labels should clearly identify contents of infusion bags, even when pressure bags are used.

Recommendations should be implemented by 30 January 2009.

Rapid Response Report

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.