Introduction of new neuraxial connectors into the NHS

For the latest information on non-Luer/small bore connectors, please click here

Wrong route drug errors can have catastrophic results, particularly when drugs intended for the intravenous route are administered via the spinal or epidural route, or where local anaesthetic intended for epidural or regional block is administered intravenously. The NPSA issued a Patient Safety Alert in November 2009 to ensure that all spinal, epidural or regional anaesthesia injections are performed with syringes, needles and other devices that cannot also connect with intravenous equipment.

The date for implementation of Part A of the alert (spinal injections) is 1 April 2012, and for Part B (epidural and regional block injections) is 1 April 2013.

The Council of the Association has been working closely with the NPSA to facilitate the introduction of new connectors. The AAGBI has prepared a position statement with the elected Councils of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Obstetric Anaesthetists Association, the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, Regional Anaesthesia UK, The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the RCoA Patient Liaison Group. Read the updated position statement »

We will let you know of new developments on this topic as we hear of them. We would like to hear of your experiences with the new non-Luer needles. Please e-mail us at


Important Publications

Publications to support the introduction of safer spinal, epidural and regional devices.

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Evaluation of New Devices

The NPSA has worked with an External Reference Group (ERG) to support the implementation of new neuraxial devices. The Chair of the ERG is Professor Brian Toft, and there are representatives from the AAGBI, RCoA, APAGBI, OAA and RA-UK on the ERG. Find out more »