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Study Reveals High Rate of Phlebitis Caused by IV Cannulas

Rates of other complications similar to those in previously published reports

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THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of phlebitis caused by peripheral intravenous cannula insertions may be higher among patients with certain risk factors, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Dragana Simin, Ph.D., R.N., from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, and colleagues evaluated complications among 368 adult patients undergoing 1,428 peripheral intravenous cannula insertions in inpatient tertiary health care clinics.

The researchers found that phlebitis was the most common complication (44 percent), followed by infiltration (16.3 percent), occlusion (7.6 percent), and catheter dislodgement (5.6 percent). Risk for phlebitis was higher with comorbidity, current infection, catheter size, time in situ, and the number of administrations of infusion solutions. Medium-stage phlebitis was the most commonly seen severity. Infiltration risk increased with a 20-gauge catheter, two or more attempts at cannulation, and administration of a high-risk solution during the first day. Grade 2 was the most common severity for infiltration.

"The incidence of infiltration, occlusion, and dislodgment is almost congruent with the average incidence of previous studies," the authors write. "However, the incidence and degree of severity associated with the occurrence of phlebitis were significantly higher."

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