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Arch Intern Med. 1984 Jun;144(6):1191-4.

Intravenous therapy team and peripheral venous catheter-associated complications. A prospective controlled study.


A prospective controlled trial was conducted on four similar inpatient medical wards to test the hypothesis that a trained intravenous therapy (IVT) team would substantially reduce the incidence of peripheral intravenous (IV) catheter-related complications. We followed 863 IV catheters. The overall incidence of phlebitis in the ward staff-maintained IV catheters was 32% as compared with 15% for those maintained by the IVT team. The incidence of two more serious complications (cellulitis and suppurative phlebitis) was reduced tenfold from 2.1% to 0.2%. We conclude that an IVT team can substantially reduce the iatrogenic complications related to IV catheters.

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