Health Technologies

Reducing neonatal catheter related blood stream infections by 20%: Expert Umbilical uses AgION® antimicrobial system to help protect pre-term infants – Digital Health Technology News

A new umbilical catheter, which includes the AgION® antimicrobial system – proven to reduce potentially fatal catheter related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) in pre-term NICU patients – is now being used by a number of NHS Trusts nationwide.

Expert Umbilical, from leading medical device company Vygon, incorporates AgION, a globally recognised smart technology which activates to defend against microbes to provide long-lasting protection from infection.

When AgION antimicrobial is impregnated onto an umbilical catheter like Expert Umbilical, it has been found to decrease the occurrence of CRBSIs, lowering rates from 22% to just 2% in a study published in Early Human Development1The technology was also found to result in shorter hospital stays and a lower case fatality rate.

AgION helps to protect against colonisation that can lead to infection by ‘ensuring a regulated, slow release of silver ions which maintains an antimicrobial micro-environment throughout the catheter’s inner and outer surfaces’.

Lisa Gagiano, National Sales Manager at Vygon UK explains: “As the most common hospital associated infections (HAIs) affecting pre-term babies, CRBSIs can lead to serious illness and long-term neurodevelopmental conditions, and can be fatal, sadly. Recent findings in the Journal of Hospital Infection2 further underlined the prevalence of CRBSIsreporting that up to a quarter of very low-birth-weight pre-term patients will develop a bloodstream infection at least once while they are in NICU.

“Despite stringent guidance on safe insertion and maintenance of umbilical catheters, there is still potential for colonisation, and while the majority of CRBSI cases are deemed to be intraluminally contracted, offering extraluminal (from the outer surface) protection remains vital.

“By tackling both intraluminal and extraluminal colonisation, the use of AgION in Expert Umbilical can potentially prevent cases of CRBSI that may otherwise be difficult to avoid.”

In the study in Early Human Development, a silver zeolite AgION-impregnated umbilical catheter was compared with a non-impregnated umbilical veinous catheter (UVC).  It found that the use of AgION lowered the occurrence of infections from 22% to 2%.

The study also found that an AgION-impregnated UVC ‘decreased the incidence density of CRBSIs and increased the likelihood of freedom from CRBSIs during the time the catheter was in place’. Infants in the group where the AgION system was used spent less time in hospital and had a lower case fatality rate. The catheters were reported to be ‘well tolerated’ by patients, with none presenting with signs of silver ion toxicity.

Lisa adds: “At Vygon, we’ve been committed to developing technological innovations that support neonatology and paediatrics patients for 50 years – in fact, our first ever product was an intravenous catheter for children called Intranule.

“Expert Umbilical joins our ‘golden hour’ portfolio – a range of products specifically created to reduce morbidity and mortality in pre-term infants – and we’re very pleased that it is now being introduced in NICUs nationwide.”

Expert Umbilical is currently being used by around 60 NHS Trusts, with further uptake expected over the coming year.

Used for short term venous catheterisation, Expert Umbilical is intended for venous or arterial access and is supplied with a three-way stopcock with identification plugs showing blue for venous access and red for arterial access. There are single and double umbilical catheters available.

To find out more, visit

1Reduction of catheter-related bloodstream infections in preterm infants by the use of catheters with the AgION antimicrobial system, Giovanna Bertini, Serena Elia, Federica Ceciarini, Carlo Dani

2 Risk of catheter-associated blood stream infection by catheter type in a neonatal intensive care unit, G.Catho, F.Rosa Mangeret, V.Sauvan, M.N.Chraıti, R.Pfister, O.Baud, S.Harbarth, N.Buettia

You may also like

Health Technologies

Accelerating Strategies Around Internet of Medical Things Devices

  • December 22, 2022
IoMT Device Integration with the Electronic Health Record Is Growing By their nature, IoMT devices are integrated into healthcare organizations’
Health Technologies

3 Health Tech Trends to Watch in 2023

Highmark Health also uses network access control technology to ensure computers are registered and allowed to join the network. The