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Rozier & Vallino

Intravenous Catheter Shield

The mother-daughter team of Betty M. Rozier and Lisa M. Vallino, of Hazelwood, Missouri, has invented a simple device that makes it safer and easier for hospitals to provide patients with IVs.

Lisa Vallino, RN BSN, has worked for many years as an emergency room and pediatrics nurse. Like most nurses, she learned to improvise methods of treatment in the absence of standard equipment. For example, nurses commonly used to cut a plastic cup in half and then tape it for protection around the site where an IV needle enters an arm or leg; this makeshift method was clumsy and could even be dangerous.

Vallino decided to invent a better way. She designed a polyethylene site protector, shaped like a computer mouse, that is soft, smooth-edged, transparent, and attachable with a single piece of tape. The "IV House" is safer, quicker and less expensive than other methods of IV site protection. It also reduces physical and emotional trauma to patients: its security means less accidental dislodging of the IV —which means fewer painful reinsertions; while its shielding makes especially young patients less tempted themselves to worry, or worry about, the device—which means less need for restraints.

Vallino enlisted her mother, Betty Rozier, to help research, refine, patent and market the device. Since earning a patent in 1993, the duo's on-site demonstrations have convinced over 100 hospitals to make the IV House standard equipment. In addition, Vallino and especially Rozier give lectures in the St. Louis area, with a special focus on encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in business and the sciences.

Betty Rozier and Lisa Vallino have won local and national awards for their inventiveness and entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, their IV House continues every year to benefit more health care providers and patients nationwide.

[March 1998]

 

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