Aims and objectives: To compare the safety of replacing peripheral intravenous catheter as clinically indicated versus routine replacement on patient outcomes in the Chinese context.
Background: Some evidence from developed countries recommend replacing peripheral intravenous catheter as clinically indicated; however, there is limited evidence from developing countries.
Design: A multisite randomised controlled trial.
Methods: The 3050 participants from three hospitals in China were randomly assigned to clinically indicated or routine replacement groups. Patients in the clinically indicated group had the catheters kept in situ until any of the following clinical signs appeared: phlebitis, infiltration, occlusion, displacement, local infection and diagnosed catheter-related bloodstream infection. Patients in the routine replacement group had their peripheral intravenous catheters replaced every 96 hours. The outcomes of phlebitis, infiltration, occlusion, displacement; catheter-related bloodstream infection, all-cause bloodstream infection, and local infection were compared. CONSORT checklist was used to guide the reporting of this RCT.
Results: The risk of phlebitis, phlebitis per 1000 catheter days, occlusion, dislodgement, all bloodstream infections, local infection and mortality between the two groups were not significantly different. The risk of infiltration was increased in the clinically indicated group (HR 1.29). There was no catheter-related bloodstream infection reported in either group. Patients’ first peripheral intravenous catheter dwelling time and cumulative indwelling time of all peripheral intravenous catheters in the clinically indicated group were significantly longer than the routine replacement group. There was no statistical significant difference in survival times from phlebitis between the two groups.
Conclusions: In the Chinese context, removing peripheral catheters as clinical indicated did not increase the risk of phlebitis, occlusion, catheter displacement and catheter infection; however, there was an increased infiltration incidence.
Relevance to clinical practice: In developing countries, removing peripheral catheters as clinical indicated is feasible, but more frequent observations of infiltration are highly recommended.
- clinical indication
- randomised controlled trial
- vascular access devices