Objectives: In children, intravenous therapy (IVT) is generally administered via peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVCs) (2-6 cm in length). There is evidence that PIVCs are unreliable after 2 days. Long peripheral catheters (LPCs) (6-15 cm in length) could improve the delivery of IVT. The aim of this trial was to determine if LPCs could decrease catheter failure and the number of catheters in children receiving multiday IVT.
Methods: This was an open-label randomized controlled trial conducted at Monash Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Participants were from the ages of 1 to 17 years, undergoing surgery and requiring >48 hours of postoperative IVT. Participants were randomly assigned to a 2.5-cm 22G PIVC or an 8-cm 22G LPC.
Results: Seventy-two children were randomly assigned, 36 received PIVCs, and 36 received LPCs. The median duration of IVT was 5.1 days and was similar between groups (P = .9). Catheter failure was higher for PIVCs than LPCs (66.7% vs 19.4%; relative risk : 3.4; P = .0001 or 187.9 vs 41.0 failures per 1000 catheter-days). Infiltration was the most common reason for PIVC failure (33.3% vs 2.8%; RR: 12.0; P = .001). LPCs exhibited superior life span (4.7 vs 3.5 days ; P = .01). Children with LPCs were twice as likely to complete therapy with a single catheter (80.6% vs 38.9%; RR: 2.1; P = .0006).
Conclusions: LPCs reduce catheter failure and total catheters in children. They should be considered as the first-line device for peripheral access in any child receiving prolonged IVT.
Qin KR, Ensor N, Barnes R, Englin A, Nataraja RM, Pacilli M. Standard Versus Long Peripheral Catheters for Multiday IV Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics. 2021 Jan 14:e2020000877. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-000877. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33446506.