Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Phlebitis in peripheral venous catheter sites

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

It is always good to see an article in JAN addressing a common clinical problem directly and adding to the evidence base around a topic.

Greater risk of phlebitis
Few of us can forget the problems associated with the intravenous administration of fluids, including the problem of phlebitis: inflammation of the veins into which the intravenous fluids were being administered. There was only one solution: remove and re-site the administration. In vulnerable patients, or those on long-term intravenous fluids, this could lead to a depletion of sites as an increasing number of veins became inaccessible and more invasive - and even riskier - methods of administration had to be tried.

A paper by Cicolini et al. titled: Phlebitis risk varies by peripheral venous catheter site and increases after 96 hours: a large multi-centre prospective study and published in JAN addresses this issue directly.

Less risk of phlebitis
There appears to be an increased risk of phlebitis after 96 hours and less risk associated with using the antecubital fossa and forearm veins over the back of the hand. Given the millions of patients worldwide who receive intravenous fluids daily, this study could have far-reaching implications.




Reference

Cicolini C, Manzoli L, Simonetti V, Flacco ME, Comparcini D, Capasso L, Di Baldassarre A, Eltaji Elfarouki G (2014) Phlebitis risk varies by peripheral venous catheter site and increases after 96 hours: a large multi-centre prospective study Journal of Advanced Nursing


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