Introduction: Peripheral intravenous cannulation is the preferred method to obtain vascular access, but not always successful on the first attempt. Evidence on the impact of the intravenous catheter itself on the success rate is lacking. Faster visualization of blood flashback into the catheter, as a result of a notched needle, is thought to increase first attempt success rate. The current study aimed to assess if inserting a notched peripheral intravenous catheter will increase first attempt cannulation success up to 90%, when compared to inserting a catheter without a notched needle.
Design: In this block-randomized trial, adult patients in the intervention group got a notched peripheral intravenous catheter inserted, patients in the control group received a traditional non-notched catheter. The primary objective was the first attempt success rate of peripheral intravenous cannulation. Intravenous cannulation was performed according to practice guidelines and hospital policy.
Results: About 328 patients were included in the intervention group and 330 patients in the control group. First attempt success was 85% and 79% for the intervention and control group respectively. First attempt success was remarkably higher in the intervention group regarding patients with a high risk for failed cannulation (29%), when compared to the control group (10%).
Conclusion: This study was unable to reach a first attempt success of 90%, although first attempt cannulation success was higher in patients who got a notched needle inserted when compared to those who got a non-notched needle inserted, unless a patients individual risk profile for a difficult intravenous access.
van Loon FH, Timmerman R, den Brok GP, Korsten EH, Dierick-van Daele AT, Bouwman AR. The impact of a notched peripheral intravenous catheter on the first attempt success rate in hospitalized adults: Block-randomized trial. J Vasc Access. 2021 Feb 2:1129729821990217. doi: 10.1177/1129729821990217. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33530828.