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Singapore Med J. 2007 Aug;48(8):733-6.

Peripheral intravenous catheter-related phlebitis and related risk factors.

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Department of Infectious Medicine, Fathemie Hospital, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, 17 Shahrivar Boulevard, Semnan, Iran.



Peripheral intravenous catheter-related phlebitis is a common and significant problem in clinical practice. This study aims to investigate the incidence of phlebitis and to evaluate some important related factors.


300 patients admitted to medical and surgical wards of hospitals in Semnan, Iran from April 2003 to February 2004 were prospectively studied. Variables evaluated were age, gender, site and size of catheter, type of insertion and underlying conditions (diabetes mellitus, trauma, infectious disease and burns). Phlebitis was defined when at least four criteria were fulfilled (erythema, pain, tenderness, warmth, induration, palpable cord and swelling). Any patient who was discharged or their catheter removed before three days were excluded.


Phlebitis occurred in 26 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI] 21- 31 percent) of patients. There was no significant relationship between age, catheter bore size, trauma and phlebitis. Related risk factors were gender (odds-ratio [OR] 1.50, 95 percent CI 1.01-2.22), site (OR 3.25, 95 percent CI 2.26-4.67) and type of insertion (OR 2.04, 95 percent CI 1.36-3.05) of catheter, diabetes mellitus (OR 7.78, 95 percent CI 4.59-13.21), infectious disease (OR 6.21, 95 percent CI 4.27-9.03) and burns (OR 3.96, 95 percent CI 3.26-4.82).


Phlebitis is still an important and ongoing problem in medical practice. In patients with diabetes mellitus and infectious diseases, more attention is needed.

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