Neural connectors – new guidelines

New guidelines have been released on the safe implementation of neural connector devices to reduce misconnection errors.
ANZCA and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care have released ISO 80369-6:2016 neural connector devices to reduce misconnection errors: Guidelines for implementation in Australia.

The guidelines include recommendations for implementation, a safety checklist, and an indication of the range of devices that will be affected in Australia and New Zealand.

As some companies are intending to supply the Australian and New Zealand markets with the ISO 80369-6 compliant devices imminently, the college is encouraging all fellows, including hospital department heads and anaesthesia craft group chairs to be aware of the guidelines.

Medical devices for neural procedures with Luer connectors will be withdrawn as ISO80369-6 compliant devices are introduced. A trademark name associated with devices compliant with this standard is NRFit™.

There is no deadline or defined timeframe for change-over.  

All components for any neural or neuraxial procedures must be confirmed to be available prior to change. It is then recommended that the changeover occurs over a single day.  It is imperative that all staff affected by the change are communicated with prior to implementation. The development of a co-operative action plan will ensure a smooth and effective transition.
Hospitals and departments in New Zealand are encouraged to adopt the recommendations contained in these guidelines until further notice, as these are applicable in both countries.

ANZCA has prepared further resources relevant to the changeover which can be accessed below: 
Additionally, an evaluation of ISO80369-9 devices has been published in Anaesthesia 2019 and can be accessed via the ANZCA Library.
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