Superglue for CVCs

In resuscitation situations, the securing of vascular catheters is an important but sometimes cumbersome process, particular when sutures are required for central lines or arterial lines.

Medical grade ‘superglue’ (cyanoacrylate) can be used and this has been described in the anaesthetic literature before(1). Now, further in vitro work shows the glue does not weaken the intravenous catheter and is not associated with bacterial colonisation(2).

I think this is perfect for resuscitation lines. Just last night I used this technique to secure a femoral arterial line during a cardiac arrest resuscitation. It was great not to have to faff around with sharp suture needles during CPR and the line felt very secure after just a few seconds.

1. Tissue adhesive as an alternative to sutures for securing central venous catheters
Anaesthesia. 2007 Sep;62(9):969-70

2. Cyanoacrylate tissue adhesives – effective securement technique for intravascular catheters: in vitro testing of safety and feasibility
Anaesth Intensive Care. 2012 May;40(3):460-6

Partial or complete dislodgement of intravascular catheters remains a significant problem in hospitals despite current securement methods. Cyanoacrylate tissue adhesives (TA) are used to close skin wounds as an alternative to sutures. These adhesives have high mechanical strength and can remain in situ for several days.

This study investigated in vitro use of TAs in securing intravascular catheters (IVC). We compared two adhesives for interaction with IVC material, comparing skin glues with current securement methods in terms of their ability to prevent IVC dislodgement and inhibit microbial growth. Two TAs (Dermabond, Ethicon Inc. and Histoacryl, B. Braun) and three removal agents (Remove™, paraffin and acetone) were tested for interaction with IVC material by use of tensile testing. TAs were also compared against two polyurethane (standard and bordered) dressings (Tegaderm™ 1624 and 1633, 3M Australia Pty Ltd) and an external stabilisation device (Statlock, Bard Medical, Covington) against control (unsecured IVCs) for ability to prevent pull-out of 16 G peripheral IVCs from newborn fresh porcine skin. Agar media containing pH-sensitive dye was used to assess antimicrobial properties of TAs and polyurethane dressings to inhibit growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Neither TA weakened the IVCs (P >0.05). Of removal agents, only acetone was associated with a significant decrease in IVC strength (P <0.05). Both TAs and Statlock significantly increased the pull-out force (P <0.01). TA was quick and easy to apply to IVCs, with no irritation or skin damage noted on removal and no bacterial colony growth under either TA.

4 thoughts on “Superglue for CVCs”

  1. Any idea how well glue works for securing lines on diaphoretic skin? There are many times when IV lines are very tenuous thanks to the amount of sweat, and no amount of tape or coban seems to help. I wonder if a dab of glue may make my life a little easier when securing peripheral IVs?

  2. I just put a blob under each of the little wings where the suture holes are. Then backed it up with tape over the catheter and the looped-back line (retrieval style)

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