Guidelines and recommendations on timing in replacing peripheral intravenous catheters


Intravenous literature: Ho, K.H. and  Cheung, D.S. (2012) Guidelines on timing in replacing peripheral intravenous catheters. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Feb 17.


Aims: To design clinical guidelines on timing for replacing peripheral intravenous catheters, in an attempt to decrease complications and lower related expenditures.

Background: Intravenous therapy is a common intervention for patients in hospitals and some other clinical settings. However, the currently available international and local guidelines have come under criticism. There is a need to develop evidence-based guidelines to benefit patients as well as to save on the resources of healthcare systems.

Design: A discursive paper.

Methods: The evidence-based health care of Dawes et al. (BioMed Central Medical Education5, 2005, 1) was adopted to guide the development of this guideline. Cochrane Library Database was searched with four keywords: (1) Intravenous, (2) Infusion, (3) Infection, and (4) Timing, which identified one systematic review. Guideline on timing for replacing peripheral intravenous catheters was proposed based on the systematic review. Further recommendation for application in clinical settings and quality management are given. An algorithm on the replacement of peripheral intravenous catheters was included.

Conclusion: Clinically indicated replacement was suggested over routine replacement because the former results in lower healthcare expenditures without involving any extra risks of complications. Relevance to clinical practice.  These guidelines are simple and easy to follow in a clinical environment. An algorithm is given to enhance the usage of these guidelines by clinicians.

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