Evaluation of a Visual Infusion Phlebitis Scale for Determining Appropriate Discontinuation of Peripheral Intravenous Catheters

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Approximately 150 million peripheral intravenous (PIV) catheters are inserted annually in the United States, with a 5% incidence rate of phlebitis as an acceptable benchmark. In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that PIV sites and administration sets be changed at least every 96 hours, yet clinical practice supported that at least 25% of PIV catheters showed no signs of phlebitis at 96 hours' dwell time. This study reports the assessment results of 850 PIV catheters over the indwelling life of the catheter, using the Visual Infusion Phlebitis scale as the measure determining when a PIV should be removed.

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