Evaluation: ICU Medical SwabCap Disinfecting Cap for Needle-Free IV Connectors

March 12, 2020 | Evaluations & Guidance

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In our testing of disinfection caps, ECRI assessed each cap's cleaning performance, not its disinfection performance. We don't believe that disinfection cap models with an identical disinfection mechanism (70% isopropyl alcohol) will have significant differences in disinfection effectiveness. For clarity, here are the definitions of cleaning and disinfection from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Rutala et al. 2019):

The results of ECRI's disinfection cap cleaning performance testing demonstrated that the "scrub the hub" method—which involves vigorously scrubbing a needle-free IV connector (NC) hub for 10-15 seconds using an alcohol scrubbing device, such as a sterile alcohol pad, and allowing it to dry for 15 seconds before access (Joint Commission 2013)—should always be performed after disinfection cap use. "Scrub the hub" is also the current standard of care for hub disinfection and is advocated by the Joint Commission and CDC. A disinfection cap that cleans a specific NC comparably to the "scrub the hub" method may enable a shorter post-disinfection-cap scrub time, but there is currently a lack of data on this subject.

In addition to testing cleaning performance, we performed a variety of other tests on the evaluated products, including a review of product literature/specifications. For more details, see the ECRI's Testing section of our Evaluation Background on this technology.

Here's how the ICU Medical SwabCap Disinfecting Cap compares with the other products we've evaluated.

Click the device names below to view our complete findings for each model. We rated the products for use with each of three popular needle-free IV connectors: the ICU Medical Clave, the Baxter Clearlink, and the CareFusion SmartSite. Products are listed alphabetically by supplier. All products are marketed worldwide. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

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