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A Comparison of Performance Between Teflon® and Polyurethane Safety Cannulae at Extremes of Operating Temperatures
  1. J Jeyanathan, ST-3 Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine1,
  2. BB Webster, ST-6 Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine2,
  3. OJ Hawksley3 and
  4. Dr A J Mellor, MDHU(N), Consultant Anaesthetist1
  1. 1St Georges University Hospital, London
  2. 2James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
  3. 3CT-1 ACCS, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch
  1. Department of Academic Emergency Medicine, James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS3 4BW 01609 764 953 01609 764 968 dramellor{at}


Objectives In the United Kingdom, approximately eight million peripheral cannulations are performed each year. Intravenous cannulae are made from either polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon®) or polyurethane. Polyurethane has a lower incidence of thrombophlebitis, however the physical characteristics of polyurethane may make the cannulae difficult to use at higher ambient temperatures. This effect maybe of importance to those involved in cannulation in extreme environments and especially for military doctors deployed in current theatres of operations.

Methods In a randomised single blinded study we investigated the different characteristics of Teflon® and polyurethane cannulae (Vasofix® Safety Cannulae, B Braun) at three different temperatures (-10ºC, 21ºC and 40 ºC).

Results There is no statistically significant difference in the ease or speed of cannulation of either polyurethane or Teflon® safety cannulae in extremes of temperature.

Conclusions This study provides evidence that performance of polyurethane safety cannulae are not impaired by temperature extremes.

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