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Intravenous Therapy: A Review of Complications and Economic Considerations of Peripheral Access

Dychter, Samuel S. MD; Gold, David A. PhD; Carson, Deborah RN; Haller, Michael PhD

doi: 10.1097/NAN.0b013e31824237ce

Despite the growing frequency of intravenous (IV) injections, establishing peripheral IV access is challenging, particularly in patients with small or collapsed veins. Therefore, patients often endure failed attempts and eventually become venous depleted. Furthermore, maintaining patients' vascular access throughout treatment is difficult because a number of complications including phlebitis, infiltration, extravasation, and infections can occur. The aim of this article is to review the use of the IV route for administering therapy, identify and analyze key risks and complications associated with achieving and maintaining peripheral IV access, examine measures to reduce these risks, and discuss implications for nurses in clinical practice.

Author Affiliations: Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc, San Diego, California (Dr Dychter, Dr Gold, and Ms Carson); and Anaphore, La Jolla, California (Dr Haller).

Samuel S. Dychter, MD, is executive medical director at Halozyme Therapeutics. He received his university and medical training at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and completed his medical clerkships at the Mexican Institute for Social Security in Mexico City.

David A. Gold, PhD, is senior project manager at Halozyme Therapeutics. He earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Deborah Carson, RN, is senior manager in clinical research at Halozyme. She earned her RN at Hartford Hospital School of Nursing and her BSN at Central Connecticut State University.

Michael Haller, PhD, works at Anaphore and was previously employed at Halozyme as head of drug delivery. Dr Haller earned his PhD in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his MS from Cornell University.

Corresponding Author: Samuel S. Dychter, MD, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc, 11388 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92121 (

Drs Dychter, Gold, and Carson are full-time employees of Halozyme Therapeutics and hold stock options.

Dr Haller is a previous employee of Halozyme and is a current consultant and stockholder.

© Copyright 2012 by the Infusion Nurses Society