• The technology described in this briefing is the needle-free arterial non-injectable connector (NIC), which is connected to the sampling port of an arterial line and through which blood samples can be collected.

  • The innovative aspect is a safety feature that stops inappropriate injection into the arterial line. It may also help to prevent bacterial contamination of the arterial line and blood loss during sample collection.

  • The intended place in therapy is instead of arterial connectors currently used in adults with arterial lines in critical care facilities, operating theatres, and emergency departments. It is not licensed for use in children.

  • The key points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from a laboratory study showing that NIC prevents bacterial transfer from a syringe into a 3‑way port; a user survey (n=258) showing that most users wanted to continue using the NIC after an implementation study finished; and a cost-effectiveness study, which concluded that using the NIC instead of standard connectors could save £285 per year in an average NHS trust. No evidence was available to show that using the NIC prevented inappropriate injections or blood loss in clinical practice, but the rarity of such events makes such a study unfeasible.

  • A key uncertainty around the evidence is whether there would be savings associated with using the NIC for NHS organisations that adopt this technology.

  • One single-use NIC costs £1.95 (including VAT).