New, Safer IV Fluid Bags

New, Safer IV Fluid BagsNew, Safer IV Fluid Bags

A A medical supplies producer is manufacturing a new generation of IV (intravascular) fluid bags that will help overcome deficiencies of the ones currently in use. The new bags are made of “safe material and prevent absorption or discharge of serum through the IV bag walls.”

Ardebil’s Arta Serum Company is manufacturing the bags in cooperation with Barekat Foundation, an institution dedicated to creating entrepreneurs, building schools and infrastructural facilities in remote regions and affiliated to the Setad (a special office for executing the decrees of Imam Khomeini in helping the underprivileged), reports ISNA.

“IV devices are strategic medical instruments and vital to the healthcare system,” says Karimollah Qasemi, company CEO.

Intravascular therapy is one of the most common treatments provided in intensive care and thousands of patients receive it each year. Their most significant use is hydration, although other medication can be injected into IVs to reach body cells faster through veins.

Plastic walls of the currently used packs that contain IV fluids are usually seen to absorb 30% of the medication in the solution due to the nature of the material of the bags. In some cases, the medication lost is rare and costly as is the case with cancer drugs. In addition, plastic packs contain material that poses both health and environmental risks.

The new IV bags will overcome the deficiencies of the existing plastic packs, Qasemi maintained.

The company has the capacity to produce five million liters of IV serum annually in 10 million packs of 250, 500, and 1,000 milliliters. The production line will create 50 job opportunities.

Qasemi said the company is projected to increase its capacity to 10 million liters per annum over the years.

Licensed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the new generation of IV bags is currently on production trial, and will manufacture and supply 2,000 packs daily to the market during the primary phase of production.


About 25% of all plastic hospital products, including IV bags, are made of a plastic called polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. By itself, PVC is hard and brittle. But in the 1960s manufacturers began adding chemicals called pthalates to make their products soft and flexible. Most IV bags contain a phthalate called DEHP. In the mid 80s, the US Environmental Protection Agency categorized DEHP as a probable carcinogen because it caused cancer in rodents. At that time the government asked toy manufacturers to stop using DEHP.

Studies have shown that DEHP leaches out of IV bags and into patients at an alarming rate. Other studies show that the chemical is linked to organ damage and reproductive problems in rodents.

However, the US Food and Drug Administration does not see DEHP as a public health threat, and there are scientists who agree with the agency’s position that rodents metabolize DEHP differently than humans, and the chemical does not pose any danger to people. The FDA said it “found no instances of harm from decades of use” in a 2002 study of medical products made flexible with DEHP.

Meanwhile, the US healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, a community of 17,000 physicians, announced in 2012 that it would no longer purchase intravenous solution bags made from PVC or that contain DEHP, or IV tubing that contains DEHP. It’s estimated that more than 300 million IV bags are used annually in the U.S.

Kaiser only said PVC and DEHP “have been shown to harm humans and cause environmental harm,” adding that research suggests “long-term exposure to DEHP can result in a variety of hormonal abnormalities, particularly in infants.”