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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
at 12pm ET - Live

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Thursday March 21, 2013
at 2pm ET - Live

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On Demand (Archived) Viewing Begins April 12, 2013

This webinar was originally presented on . On Demand viewing is now available. The content of this presentation reflects information as it was available at the time of the original presentation.

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The views and opinions reflected in this webinar presentation and panel discussion session are solely those of the presenters and should not be attributed to Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

This is a non-accredited program funded by Baxter Healthcare Corporation.


Needleless Connectors: Understanding Design and Function to Reduce Infection Risk

Needleless connectors are widely used as an accessory to intravascular administration sets because they reduce the risk of injury from needlesticks. However, needleless connectors can easily become contaminated and subsequently place a patient at significant risk of developing a catheter related bloodstream infection. How does contamination occur and what is needed to reduce this risk of infection for patients receiving IV infusions?

This program, presented by Deb Richardson, MS, RN, CNS, of Deb Richardson & Associates, will review the terminology, design and function, and types of needleless connectors. The speaker will discuss potential infection risks, along with practice guidelines, recommendations, and technology designed to reduce infection risks related to needleless connectors.

Questions are welcome from all viewers during a Question and Answer session following the presentation. Deb Richardson will be joined during the Question and Answer session by Darcy Doellman BSN, RN, CRNI, Vascular Access Specialist and Neonatal/Pediatric PICC Nurse at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

This presentation lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Session Learning Objectives and Content Highlights

  1. Define needleless connectors.
  2. Describe categories, functions and designs of needleless connectors.
  3. Identify types of needleless connectors.
  4. Identify potential infection risks related to needleless connectors.
  5. Discuss current guidelines/recommendations to decrease the risk of infection with the use of needleless connectors.


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Deb Richardson has 30 years of experience in the field of vascular access and infusion therapy as a member of the Infusion Therapy Team at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, and now as an independent vascular access consultant and educator. As the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the team, she was responsible for implementation and oversight of infusion therapy standards of care and nursing practice issues, along with developing and implementing continuing education programs.

Deb has a prolific background as a speaker and a writer. She has presented, nationally and internationally, on topics related to vascular access, along with publishing a variety of articles on vascular access. In addition, she has written or contributed to a number of teaching tools and nursing textbooks.

Deb is a member of the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) and the Infusion Nurses Society (INS) and has taken active roles in these organizations. For AVA, she has been a participant/chair on several search committees, member/chair of the publications committee, acting editor of the Journal of the Association for Vascular Access (JAVA), member of the editorial review board for JAVA, co-chair of the Education committee, and Director of Education. For the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), Deb was a member of the 2011 Standards of Practice Committee and a current member of the National Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium Workgroup for Aquapheresis

Deb has also been the nominee and recipient of numerous awards acknowledging her clinical contributions to vascular access nursing including the Texas Nurses Association District 9 Outstanding Nurse Award and the Suzanne L. Herbst Award from Association for Vascular Access (AVA) honoring her as an outstanding nurse in the field of vascular access.


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Darcy Doellman has worked as a clinical nurse on the Vascular Access Team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for the past 20 years. Her work includes PIV (peripheral IV) and PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) insertion, central line troubleshooting, education, and research in the neonatal and pediatric patient.

Darcy graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, with a BSN in 1983. She received her MSN from the University of Phoenix in 2012. She is widely published in professional journals. Darcy received the Suzanne LaVere Herbst award from AVA (Association for Vascular Access) for clinical excellence in 2003.

In addition, Darcy served as the president of AVA in 2007-2008 and was a founding member of Pedivan, now a specialty interest group of AVA. Darcy was a reviewer of the 2007 NANN (National Association of Neonatal Nurses) Guidelines for PICC Insertion and assisted with developing NHIA (National Home Infusion Association) pediatric home care central line guidelines in 2012. Darcy is currently serving on the certification board for AVA.


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Kathy Arias has worked in the infection prevention and control field since 1980 and is currently the Director of Arias Infection Control Consulting, LLC. She has infection prevention and control experience in a variety of settings, including acute care hospitals, long-term care, rehabilitation care, ambulatory care and industry. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She is Certified in Infection Control (CICŪ) by the Certification Board of Infection Control (CBIC).

Kathy has been named the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Carole DeMille Achievement Award by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Kathy has taught epidemiology classes at Thomas Jefferson University and at the Medical College of Philadelphia and has served on the faculties of Penn State University and the Hahnemann University College of Allied Health Sciences. She is a frequent speaker at local, national, and international conferences.


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