Extending Short Peripheral Catheter Dwell Time: A Best Practice Discussion
Complications involving short peripheral catheters (SPCs) can significantly affect health care costs, patient quality of life, morbidity, mortality, and treatment expense, especially when the hospital stay is lengthened. This article examines the relationship between SPC dwell time and the incidence of phlebitis and potential bacteremia. The literature is replete with most studies supporting SPCs remaining in situ until a clinical reason warrants catheter removal. Removing and not routinely restarting unneccessary intravenous catheters can help prevent catheter-related infections and other vascular complications and reduce cost.