IV Drips May Be Left in Place Safely

SOUTHPORT, Australia, Sept. 16 (UPI) — Australian researchers say it is unnecessary to move small intravenous devices in the hand or arm every three days when hospitalized.

Claire Rickard of Griffith University in Australia and colleagues tested the timelines, which have been extended during the last three decades from 24 hours to the current 96-hour routine re-siting.


The findings suggest the current practice — which considerably increases nursing/junior medical staff workload — could be eliminated.

The randomized-controlled trial, published in the journal BMC Medicine, finds the rates of complications did not differ significantly for intravenous devices changed every 96 hours and those left in place for the duration of IV therapy.

“Our results indicate that the average duration of IV therapy is five to six days and that many catheters can remain complication-free for this period, or even longer,” Rickard says in a statement. “The routine resite of peripheral intravenous devices increases patient discomfort and healthcare costs, but does not reduce intravenous devices complications as has traditionally been thought.”

Rickard and colleagues conducted the trial with 362 patients at Launceston General Hospital in Tasmania.

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