Comparison of Dwell-Times of Two Commonly Placed Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: Traditional vs. Ultrasound-Guided


Introduction: Because establishing venous access in patients can be difficult and time consuming, the use of ultrasound to guide the insertion of peripheral intravenous catheters has become more common. Anecdotal evidence indicates ultrasound-guided catheter insertion may result in decreased catheter survival in the vein (dwell-time), but there is little evidence to support this observation. The purpose of this study was to compare dwell-times for peripheral intravenous catheters placed with ultrasound guidance with intravenous catheters placed by means of traditional anatomic insertion in patients in an acute care hospital. Methods: This secondary data analysis examined outcomes of 298 patients who received ultrasound-guided catheter insertion and 299 patients who received traditionally placed intravenous catheters. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify significant predictors of dwell-time for both the traditional and US-guided catheters. Results: The average dwell-times for ultrasound-guided and traditionally placed catheters were significantly different (p < 0.0001) with traditionally placed catheters surviving over twice as long as those placed with ultrasound guidance. The average dwell-time of traditionally placed catheters was 62.21 hours compared to 27.91 hours for catheters placed with ultrasound guidance. BMI, sex, age, and catheter insertion method were all significant predictors of dwell time (R2 = 0.22). Discussion: Dwell-times of catheters placed with ultrasound guidance are shorter than traditionally placed catheters. Ultrasound-guided catheters should be monitored closely for inadvertent removal or infiltration. A plan to place a more permanent type of intravenous access should be considered for patients admitted for patients longer than 24 hours.

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Miles, G. , Newcomb, P. and Spear, D. (2015) Comparison of Dwell-Times of Two Commonly Placed Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: Traditional vs. Ultrasound-Guided. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 1082-1088. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.512115.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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