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Webster, J., McGrail, M., Marsh, N., Wallis, M.C., Ray-Barruel, G. and Rickard, C.M. (2015) Postinfusion Phlebitis: Incidence and Risk Factors. Nursing Research and Practice. May 14th. .


Objective: To document the incidence of postinfusion phlebitis and to investigate associated risk factors.

Design: Analysis of existing data set from a large randomized controlled trial, the primary purpose of which was to compare routine peripheral intravascular catheter changes with changing catheters only on clinical indication.

Participants and Setting: Patients admitted to a large, acute general hospital in Queensland, Australia, and who required a peripheral intravenous catheter.

Results: 5,907 PIVCs from 3,283 patients were studied. Postinfusion phlebitis at 48 hours was diagnosed in 59 (1.8%) patients. Fifteen (25.4%) of these patients had phlebitis at removal and also at 48 hours after removal. When data were analyzed per catheter, the rate was lower, 62/5907 (1.1%). The only variable associated with postinfusion phlebitis was placement of the catheter in the emergency room (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: Although not a common occurrence, postinfusion phlebitis may be problematic so it is important for health care staff to provide patients with information about what to look for after an intravascular device has been removed. This trial is registered with ACTRN12608000445370.

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