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The Relationship Between Peripheral Intravenous Catheter Indwell Time and the Incidence of Phlebitis

Powell, Jessica RN, BSN; Tarnow, Karen Gahan RN, PhD; Perucca, Roxanne RN, MS, CRNI®

doi: 10.1097/01.NAN.0000308544.67744.50
Article

The purpose of this study was to determine any relationship between peripheral IV catheter indwell time and phlebitis in hospitalized adults. A retrospective review of quarterly quality assurance data—monitoring indwell time, phlebitis rating, and site and tubing labels—was performed. Of 1,161 sites, only 679 had documented indwell time to use. Average indwell time was 1.9 days, and overall phlebitis rate was 3.7%. Analysis of variance revealed a significant association between phlebitis and indwell time. However, asymptomatic peripheral IVs may not need to be removed at regular intervals because there were healthy, asymptomatic sites with indwell time up to 10 days.

The purpose of this study was to determine any relationship between peripheral IV catheter indwell time and phlebitis in hospitalized adults. A retrospective review of quarterly quality assurance data—monitoring indwell time, phlebitis rating, and site and tubing labels—was performed. Of 1,161 sites, only 679 had documented indwell time to use. Average indwell time was 1.9 days, and overall phlebitis rate was 3.7%. Analysis of variance revealed a significant association between phlebitis and indwell time. However, asymptomatic peripheral IVs may not need to be removed at regular intervals because there were healthy, asymptomatic sites with indwell time up to 10 days

Staff Nurse, University of Kansas Hospital (Ms Powell); Clinical Associate Professor, University of Kansas School of Nursing (Ms Tarnow); Manager, Infusion Team, University of Kansas Hospital (Ms Perucca).

Corresponding Author: Karen Gahan Tarnow, RN, PhD, University of Kansas School of Nursing, Mail Stop 4043, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160 (e-mail: ktarnow@kumc.edu).

Jessica Powell works at Shawnee Mission Medical Center on the medical surgical unit. She is currently obtaining her MSN from KU Nursing School. This study was her honor's project her senior year of Undergraduate Nursing. She has made both poster and podium presentations on this subject and was recognized as an outstanding student researcher by the School of Nursing that year.

Karen Gahan Tarnow Clinical Associate Professor, has been Director of the Clinical Learning Laboratory at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, where BSN students learn nursing skills and procedures. She is the Past-President of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

Roxanne Perucca is Nurse Manager of the IV therapy team at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS. She has over 30 years' experience in the specialty practice of infusion nursing. Roxanne is Chair-Elect of the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation and a Past-President of the Infusion Nurses Society.

© Copyright 2008 by the Infusion Nurses Society