Specialist commentator comments

Comments on this technology were invited from clinical experts working in the field and relevant patient organisations. The comments received are individual opinions and do not represent NICE's view.

Three specialist commentators were familiar with the technology and 2 of them had used it before.

Level of innovation

Two commentators said that although Biopatch is a very effective and popular device, it has been in use since at least 2007 and therefore it is difficult to gauge its level of innovation at this time. One commentator highlighted that it is still a novel concept and highlighted that it was included in the 2012 NHS catalogue of potential innovations.

Potential patient impact

All commentators agreed that Biopatch could reduce the risk of CRBSIs and catheter bacterial colonisation in patients. The impact would be mostly on venous catheters but also true for peripheral and occasionally arterial catheters. This would be of particularly benefit to patients who have long-term central venous catheters and those whose immune system is compromised. Using Biopatch would also reduce the longer lasting effects of having such an infection.

One commentator felt that the short-term patient impact would be minimal, because patients are already given a dressing at the vascular access entry site, but that it would reduce the need for more frequent dressing changes that would otherwise be necessary.

Potential system impact

All commentators agreed that this device would help to reduce the incidence of catheter-related infections and would reduce the overall burden of associated cost on the NHS.

Two commentators stated that Biopatch can be used with minimal practical training. But another commentator believed that the user of the patch needs to be taught how it works, for example that it releases CHG, the importance of complete skin contact (360° site coverage) and that it can absorb a large amount of fluid, thereby reducing the need for dressing changes.

General comments

One commentator stated that since January 2016 they have been applying Biopatch when inserting peripherally inserted central catheters, reducing the need for a 24-hour post-insertion dressing change. They stated that the results have been very positive in relation to patient experience and comfort, reduction in complications such as migration, cost of equipment and time saving. The same commentator has recently started using Biopatch for arterial catheters.

A second commentator stated that the use of Biopatch should be seen as an adjunct to the care bundle approach to central venous access devices as advocated by the Department of Health.