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To Replace or Not to Replace? Replacing Short Peripheral Catheters Based on Clinical Indication

Maier, Deborah, MS, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN

doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000322

Short peripheral catheters (SPCs) are the most frequently used medical devices in hospital settings. Many hospital policies state that SPCs be replaced at 96 hours, which can be unnecessary and costly. A pre–post quality improvement initiative was implemented following complications surrounding removal of timed SPC catheters compared with those removed by clinical indication, using the Visual Infusion Phlebitis (VIP) scale. Data collected included patient demographics, SPC characteristics, nursing time, and product use. SPCs replaced based on clinical indication remained intact longer and had fewer complications than those in the group with routinely replaced SPCs. Decreasing SPC replacements by use of clinical indication resulted in cost savings of $7263.60/unit/month.

Rochester Regional Health System, Rochester, New York.

Deborah Maier, MS, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, has nearly 20 years of medical-surgical critical care experience. She is currently a clinical nurse specialist at the Nursing Institute for Rochester Regional Health System in Rochester, New York. Ms Maier earned her MS from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York in 2018 and her BSN from the College at Brockport in 2001. She has been a CCRN since 2009.

Corresponding Author: Deborah Maier, MS, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, 1630 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621 (

The author of this article has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© Copyright 2019 by Infusion Nurses Society