Our advice for clinicians on the coronavirus is here.
If you are a member of the public looking for information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), including information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to the NHS website. You can also find guidance and support on the GOV.UK website.
A National Patient Safety Alert has been issued on blood control safety cannula and needle thoracostomy for tension pneumothorax
- National Patient Safety Alert – Blood control safety cannula and needle thoracostomy for tension pneumothorax
About this alert
To prevent cardiac arrest, immediate temporary decompression is required when tension pneumothorax occurs, for example, following chest trauma, respiratory disease and infection, or resuscitation requiring invasive or non-invasive ventilation.
This alert relates to the risk of harm from using ‘blood control (closed system) intravenous cannulas’ to decompress a pneumothorax, as they cannot be used for this purpose without additional equipment.
The alerts asks providers to provide and add labels to ‘standard’ cannulas to indicate they should be used for tension pneumothorax; and labels on cupboards, drawers etc. used to store ‘closed system’ cannulas to indicate they must not be used for tension pneumothorax.
About National Patient Safety Alerts
This alert has been issued as a National Patient Safety Alert.
The NHS England and NHS Improvement patient safety team is the first national body to have been accredited to issue National Patient Safety Alerts by the National Patient Safety Alerting Committee (NaPSAC). All National Patient Safety Alerts are required to meet NaPSAC’s thresholds and standards . These thresholds and standards include working with patients, frontline staff and experts to ensure alerts provide clear, effective actions for safety-critical issues.
NaPSAC requires providers to introduce new systems for planning and coordinating the actions required by any National Patient Safety Alert across their organisation, with executive oversight.
Failure to take the actions required under any National Patient Safety Alert may lead to CQC taking regulatory action.