Using stratified random sampling, 130 patients from three hospital units were assigned to three treatment groups to test the relationship between the frequency of changing intravenous (IV) tubing and percutaneous sites and the incidence of phlebitis. Measures of pain, skin temperature, and erythema were collected every 12 hours. Chi-square analysis indicated there were no significant differences in rates of phlebitis whether the tubings were changed every 24 hours or 48 hours. Further, there were no significant differences in the incidence of phlebitis between 48- and 72-hour site change groups. Clinically, subjects in the 24-hour tubing change groups had lower rates of phlebitis. Analysis of the relationship of other factors such as environment, IV medication (heparin, potassium chloride, antibiotics, and corticosteroids), diagnosis, and age showed no statistically significant relationships. It was concluded that more frequent tubing changes are not harmful to subjects and, in fact, may be beneficial.
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