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INTRODUCTION: From 30 to 80% of hospitalized patients is inserted a peripheral venous catheter (PVC). The PVC may be associated to several infective and non infective complications.

AIMS: To assess whether a long-length vs standard-length PCV reduces the incidence of CRCs; to assess the patients’ preferences and costs.

METHODS: Randomized clinical trial on 211 patients (339 cannulas) admitted to an emergency medical and surgical wards. Patients were included if >18 years and prescribed a PVC. After the randomization the PVC were inspected daily, until removal.

RESULTS: 186 complications occurred with the standard CVPs vs 16 with the midline, per 1000 catheter days; 47 phlebitis were observed in patients with standard PVCs vs none in those with midline; also infiltrations (66 vs 2 per 1000 catheter days), asymptomatic thromboses (34 vs 7 per 1000 catheter days), occlusions and accidental removals were greatly reduced. The higher cost of midline is counterbalanced by the complications prevented. In addition midline patients referred less limitations (96% vs 50.7%) and an higher satisfaction (91.9% vs 53.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: The midline catheters radically reduce PVC associated complications, are preferred by patients and the higher costs should be weighted against the complications avoided.


De Prospo, T., Attini, A., De Giorgi, R., Farinelli, S., Joli, D., Maddalena, F., Marchisio, U. and Geninatti, S. (2015) The assessment of the effectiveness of long vs standard-length
catheters in reducing complications: a randomized controlled trial. Assistenza Infermieristica e Ricerca. 34(3), p.116-24. .

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