ReLink®: A breakthrough in preventing IV dislodgement in oncology treatment

Intravenous (IV) infusions are used for management of various forms of cancer and are part of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy protocols. A long- term vascular access device (VAD) is usually used for delivering anti-cancer therapies.1

A VAD is a medical device that is inserted into vein through central or peripheral vessels and is used for treatment or diagnostic purposes. These include

  1. Peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC),
  2. Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC),
  3. Centrally inserted central catheter (CICC) and,
  4. Implanted venous port.2

Long-term central venous access devices (CVAD) are considered vital in the treatment of oncological paediatric patients. Apart from delivering treatment and nutritional medications, CVAD are also used for anaesthesia application required during radiotherapy protocols.3

On average 10% of all IVs are dislodged, however, for certain risk groups the rate is higher and up to 36% has been reported.4Dislodgement happens when a catheter becomes displaced or detached from the patient. This can happen when a confused or disoriented patient intentionally pulls out their lines or while tossing and turning during sleep, or during a transfer from one bed to another.5

Intravenous Therapy in Nursing Practice, (2nd edition, Edited by Lisa Dougherty, Julie Lamb) mentions accidental dislodgement of IV catheters as a major and frequent problem in paediatric oncology patients. The book also states that the pull is more likely to occur in older infants and children aged 31 days - 5 years in comparison with neonates less than 30 days old and children older than 5 year.6

Accidental pull of IV tubes means that the patient shall not be able to receive the medications or fluids necessary for their health and recovery.5

Accidental pull of IV tubes can also lead to leakage of harmful medicines to the surrounding tissues causing tissue damage.7 Cancer patients are at higher risk of this as their veins are fragile due to previous chemotherapy sessions, multiple venipunctures etc.8,9

Pull of IV tubes also results in increased costs for restarted therapy, patient injury, medication waste, compromised treatments, air embolism and unsafe work environment from spill of contaminated blood and hazardous drugs. It places a significant burden on nursing overload as well.

ReLink®, our patent-protected device solves the problem of IV dislodgement for patients receiving IV medications including chemotherapy. ReLink® is a two-part, double valve safety connector to be placed between the IV catheter and tube using the standard Luer Lock fitting. In case of an accidental pull to the tube, the two parts disconnect, and the double valve system prevents spill of blood and medicine. The unique feature of ReLink® is that it can be easily disinfected and reconnected, thus ensuring rapid reinstatement of therapy. With ReLink®, the expensive chemotherapy drug is not wasted, the patient-specific medication protocol is not interrupted and most importantly, the accuracy of the dose is not affected.

ReLink® supports patient’s activities of daily living like walking, changing clothes and turning in bed without risking the IV line. Its unique design ensures no discomfort to patient even if they accidently sleep on their IV line. ReLink® reduce efforts of healthcare staff and promotes quality of life for patients receiving oncology treatment.

  1. Gallieni, M., Pittiruti, M., & Biffi, R. (2008). Vascular access in oncology patients. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 58(6), 323-346.
  3. Revel‐Vilk, S., Yacobovich, J., Tamary, H., Goldstein, G., Nemet, S., Weintraub, M., ... & Kenet, G. (2010). Risk factors for central venous catheter thrombotic complications in children and adolescents with cancer. Cancer, 116(17), 4197-4205.
  4. Chopra, V., Montoya, A., Joshi, D., Becker, C., Brant, A., McGuirk, H., ... & Mody, L. (2015). Peripherally inserted central catheter use in skilled nursing facilities: a pilot study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63(9), 1894-1899.
  5. IV dislodgement, 2018 Feb Blog, News &Discussion. My
  6. Dougherty, L., & Lamb, J. (Eds.). (2009). Intravenous therapy in nursing practice. John Wiley & Sons.
  7. Hadaway, L. (2012). Short peripheral intravenous catheters and infections. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 35(4), 230-240.
  8. Infusion, N. S. (2006). Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice. Journal of infusion nursing: the official publication of the Infusion Nurses Society29(1 Suppl), S1.
  9. Apisarnthanarax, N., & Duvic, M. (2000). Dermatologic complications of cancer chemotherapy. In Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. 5th edition. BC Decker.