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The Infusion Nurse and Patient Complication Rates of Peripheral-Short Catheters: A Prospective Evaluation

Palefski, Sandra Solomon MS; Stoddard, Gregory J. MPH, MBA


The objective of this study was to compare catheter-related complication rates in patients who had infusion devices placed by infusion nurses with complication rates in patients who had devices placed by generalist nurses. The data demonstrated that peripheral infusion devices placed by infusion nurses exhibited a statistically significant lower rate of leakage, phlebitis, and infiltration complications and remained in the vein significantly longer than those placed by generalist nurses. However, significance was not achieved with pain complication rates between the two groups. The implications of these outcomes for staff development and quality of patient care are discussed.

Sandra Solomon Palefski is the Research Manager for the Intravenous Nurses Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds a master of science degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and has planned community health programs and directed clinical research projects in the Boston area.

Gregory J. Stoddard received his MPH from the University of Utah and his MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is a programmer/analyst at the Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah, and is an assistant instructor of mathematics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. He has assisted with the statistical analysis of several prominent studies of catheter-related phlebitis.

This study was funded in part through a grant from BD Medical Systems.

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