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This study seeks to determine which pediatric patients are more likely to need IV access in a PED” Pade et al (2016).


OBJECTIVES: Pediatric emergency departments (PED) are overcrowded and at times inefficient with malaligned resources, especially regarding the use of intravenous (IV) catheters which are placed frequently, yet may be underused. This study seeks to determine which pediatric patients are more likely to need IV access in a PED.

METHODS: This retrospective study examined patients 3 days to 21 years seen in a tertiary PED from January 1, 2013, to February 28, 2013, who were triaged using the Emergency Severity Index, levels 1 to 3. Extracted data included age, chief complaints, chronic medical conditions, final diagnoses, evidence of venipuncture, and IV placement and usage. Patients were excluded if they entered the PED with an IV or central venous catheter, were older than 21 years, or had charts with missing data.

RESULTS: Four thousand three hundred twenty-two patients were initially evaluated, and 122 patients were excluded. Mean age of the patients was 6.2 years (SD = 5.65), most common triage was level 3 (urgent), and the majority of patients (n = 2898, 69.0%) did not have a chronic medical condition. Five hundred forty-five (13%) had IVs placed, and of those, 152 (27.9%) had IVs placed and not used. Patients triaged as critical or emergent, patients older than 10 years, and those with a gastrointestinal chief complaint and chronic medical conditions involving hematology, oncology/immunology, or endocrinology were most likely to have an IV placed and used.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with higher acuities, specified systemic complaints, certain chronic medical conditions, and patients older than 10 years are more likely to need an IV.


Pade, K.H., Johnson, L. and Nager, A.L. (2016) An Analysis of Intravenous Catheter Placement Among Patients in a Pediatric Emergency Department. Pediatric Emergency Care. 32(3), p.142-148.

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