Difficult peripheral venous access


Intravenous literature: Walsh, G. (2008) Difficult Peripheral Venous Access: Recognizing and Managing the Patient at Risk. JAVA. 13(4), p.198-203.


Nurses commonly face challenges placing peripheral intravenous (IV) lines in adults and children, a situation described as difficult venous access (DVA). Multiple venipuncture attempts can heighten patient anxiety and suffering, delay vital treatment, and increase costs. Numerous factors such as small, fragile or hidden veins can predispose patients to DVA, and collapsed veins due to dehydration are especially problematic. Several techniques can improve venous performance, but when IV access cannot be achieved promptly, other routes of administration can be valuable. For rehydration fluids and certain drugs, subcutaneous administration may be a safe and effective alternative, providing cost and ease-of-use advantages.

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