The greatest hazard during long-term intravenous therapy is infection. Phlebitis, catheter sepsis, pyrogenic reactions, and septicemia frequently occur, complicating recovery of the severely ill patient requiring prolonged parenteral support. Contaminants may enter the blood stream with the initial venipuncture or subsequently migrate along the tract created by the infusion needle or indwelling polyethylene catheter.1,2 However, a usually unsuspected source of infection is the parenteral fluid, which readily supports bacterial and fungal growth3 and has direct access to the blood stream. This report describes the use of an in-line final filter to insure solution sterility during prolonged intravenous therapy.
Materials and Methods
The filter, a thin porous membrane composed of pure inert cellulose esters, is housed in a lightweight styrene holder which is easily secured to the patient with adhesive tape or a plastic arm band (Figure). By interposing the unit between the infusion tubing and needle or indwelling