Extra protection against bacterial contamination and air bubbles

Published: 16-Jan-2023

The administration of contaminated medication intravenously has been a contributing factor in many reported patient deaths. A scary but honest truth

A systematic review showed there is an unacceptably high rate of microbiological contamination during preparation of medication using aseptic techniques.1 Healthcare-associated infections are a significant cause of harm to patients and an added economic pressure to healthcare centres around the world.2

In short, aseptic techniques are not enough.

A double threat

In addition to microbiological contamination, air in the infusion line may also cause harm to patients.

In contrast to a commonly held belief that a small air bubble in an infusion line is permissible  – it actually must be avoided.3

Small air bubbles:

  • Can end up in the pulmonary microcirculation and potentially cause obstruction
  • Can trigger the body’s immune system, which cascades into the potential to cause obstruction
  • The body may identify bubbles as a foreign substance, thereby activating natural defense mechanisms that coat the bubble, making it thicker in size and more likely to obstruct.
  • Can combine to create a larger air bubble and potentially cause venous air embolism

Surefuser+, safety is in the details

Patient safety is of paramount concern at Nipro. That is why our elastomeric infusion pump, Surefuser+, has a dual in-line particle and air filter.

We chose for one of the smallest available pore sizes in patient care, offering you a built-in filter that maximises protection against bacterial contamination and air bubbles.

The pore size of the particle filter is only 0,2 µm large, thus reducing the potential of bacterial contaminants from entering the patient’s bloodstream.

Anything larger than 0,2 µm will be stopped by the filter, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which commonly causes hospital-acquired infections. This bacterial strain is 0,5-1,5 μm large and will therefore not pass through the filter. 5,6

The air filter minimises the potential for air bubbles from entering the patient bloodstream.



1 Austin P and Elia M, A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Risk of Microbial Contamination of Aseptically Prepared Doses in Different Environments; J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci 12(2) 233 - 242, 2009.
2 Suvikas-Peltonen E et al., Incorrect aseptic techniques in medicine preparation and recommendations for safer practices: a systematic review; Eur J Hosp Pharm 2016;0:1–7.
3 Myers G. J., Air in intravenous lines: a need to review old opinions; Perfusion, Vol. 32(6) 432-435, 2017
4 Gordy S. and Rowell S., Vascular air embolism; Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci. 2013; 3(1): 73–76
5,6 https://www.sanger.ac.uk/resources/downloads/bacteria/staphylococcus-aureus.html L.G. Harris, S.J. Foster and R.G. Richards, European cells and Materials Vol. 4 2002 (39-60)


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