Spinal, epidural and nerve block equipment is changing – advice for anaesthetists and pain medicine

As a safety initiative to avoid wrong route administration of medicines and substances, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has overseen the development of a series of connectors for devices used for different clinical applications. 

The ISO 80369 series of standards (known as Small Bore Connectors) define the dimensions of the connectors for different clinical uses which cannot couple with each other. 

Changeover to ISO 80369-6 compliant devices is obligatory although the timeframe is as yet undetermined.

Manufacturers are now producing neural devices with ISO 80369-6 connectors. A trademark name associated with devices compliant with this standard is NRFit™. The production line of legacy products such as those with Luer connectors will be shut down. 

The Australian Commission for Safety & Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) called a roundtable meeting with key stakeholders in 2016 and subsequently produced a joint statement with ANZCA outlining recommendations to support safe introduction of the small bore connectors.

ANZCA is continuing its collaboration with the ACSQHC and appropriate New Zealand organisations to provide guidance on the introduction of this equipment into clinical practice. An update to the joint statement is expected in the next month. 

For more information please visit this ANZCA news page.
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