Conventional needle based I.V. catheters, administration sets, and syringes are used for intravenous administration of fluids. However, use of needle based IV systems give rise to needlestick injuries to healthcare workers leading increased incidences of blood borne infections. Therefore, needleless connectors were introduced in 1980s to enhance the safety of healthcare workers. As a result, rate of needlestick injuries decreased significantly in later years.
However, eventually it was observed that the use of needleless connectors lead to augment the risk of catheter related blood stream infections. Thus, various designs and mechanisms are introduced to resolve the problems associated with needleless connectors and catheter related blood stream infections. Needleless connectors provide convenience to the nursing staff in administering medication and drawing blood from the attached catheter, thus, these products are widely used in healthcare settings such as acute care hospitals where intravenous administration of medication and blood withdrawal is necessary during the course of treatment offered.
The global acute care needleless connectors market has been segmented based on the type of mechanism. Positive fluid displacement connectors segment accounted for the largest market share of around 34% in 2013. Dominance of this segment was mainly attributed to low cost of the commercially available positive fluid displacement needleless connectors. However, suspected link of positive fluid displacement connectors with increased rate of catheter related blood stream infection is anticipated to limit the growth of this market during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020.
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The commercially available needleless connectors are majorly of two types, simple and complex. Simple needleless connectors are less expensive as they have fewer parts compared to complex needleless connectors. In addition, simple connectors do not have internal moving parts thus offering straight fluid pathway. Whereas, complex connectors have internal mechanical valves that leads to non-straight fluid pathway.
Complex needleless connectors market was dominant in terms of revenue in 2013 majorly due to higher cost of these devices and large availability of products with mechanical valves in the market. However, increasing incidences of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) and catheter lumen occlusion due to the use of complex needleless connectors, the demand for simple needleless connectors is likely to grow rapidly during the forecast period between 2014 and 2020.