Central line IV dressings


Intravenous literature: Keene, D., Hennessey, I. and Rakoczy, G. (2009) Central venous line dressings: can you stick it?. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 44(2), p.432-5.


AIM: The objective of this study is to investigate which central venous catheter dressing is most secure.

BACKGROUND: Central venous catheter insertion is a common procedure. A secure dressing is essential to prevent early line displacement. Many different dressings are used, but there is no consensus in choosing an optimal dressing.

METHODS: A sandwich, loop-line, or bridge technique was used to apply each of the dressings. Two mechanisms of displacement were tested: dressing adherence to skin and dressing adherence to line. Dressing to skin adherence was tested on a relatively hairless part of the upper arm. Weights were added sequentially until the dressing peeled off. Dressing to line adherence was tested by applying the dressing to a 7F Dual Lumen Bard Hickman line passing through a piece of foam (measuring 13 x 12 cm). Weights were attached to the line until the cuff was pulled through the foam.

RESULTS: Dressing to skin adherence was poorest for the clear dressings, followed by Mefix and Sleek, and greatest for a combination of Tegaderm and Mefix. Dressing to line adherence was improved using a sandwich technique instead of a loop-line technique and most secure when a bridge technique was used to the thicker shaft of the line.

CONCLUSIONS: The dressings used for securing Hickman lines are not all equally secure. The least effective is the IV 3000 loop-line dressing. Tegaderm-Mefix bridge and Tegaderm-Mefix-Sleek combination dressings are the most secure and cost effective.

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