Baxter's V-Link Luer-Activated Device With VitalShield Protective Coating Now Available For Hospitals

DEERFIELD, Ill. , April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter Healthcare Corporation today announced its V-Link Luer-activated device (LAD) with VitalShield protective coating, the first needleless intravenous (IV) connector to contain an antimicrobial coating...

Researchers have estimated that more than 400,000 bloodstream infections occur each year in the U.S. alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2007 that MRSA infections cause an estimated 18,650 deaths per year in the U.S., which is more deaths in the U.S. per year than HIV/AIDS. As of October of this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will no longer reimburse U.S. hospitals for costs associated with bloodstream infections acquired in their hospitals.

Last month, the Public Health Agency of Canada released findings from a new report that showed the rate of people carrying MRSA has doubled in the past five years, and researchers estimate this has led to an estimated increase of $200-$250 million in related healthcare costs. According to the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, an estimated 220,000 Canadians develop healthcare-associated infections each year, leading to approximately 8,000 deaths annually -- more deaths than automobile accidents and breast cancer combined.

There are several types of healthcare-associated infections -- of these, bloodstream infections are the most costly and life-threatening, resulting in an average increase in mortality rate of 18 percent when compared to patients without a bloodstream infection. According to U.S. estimates, healthcare- associated bloodstream infections cost an average of $34,000 in increased direct hospital costs and can increase patient length-of-stays by 23 days.

Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities have developed extensive control programs to prevent the occurrence of infections. Even when clinicians in hospitals do their best to practice good hygiene techniques, the risk of pathogen contamination may still persist.

About Medication Delivery

For more than 75 years, Baxter has pioneered products designed to help reduce errors throughout the medication management process by improving the interface between technology and clinicians. For example, to help prevent accidental needle-stick injuries, Baxter introduced the industry's first "needleless" IV access system. Baxter will be introducing a new, integrated portfolio of infusion pumps and administration sets, designed to promote increased security and confidence in delivery of IV medications.

About Baxter

Baxter Healthcare Corporation is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX). Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists healthcare professionals and their patients with the treatment of complex medical conditions, including cancer, hemophilia, immune disorders, kidney disease and trauma. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients' lives.

SOURCE Baxter Healthcare Corporation