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Experts consider whether replacing intravenous devices every three days is clinically indicated

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4952 (Published 10 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4952
  1. Mark Pownall
  1. 1London

    US experts in infection control are reviewing advice issued in 2002 that intravenous devices should be replaced every 72 to 96 hours as a matter of routine.

    Updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control infection control advisory group (HICPAC) is expected to be published this winter. A draft says that peripheral intravenous devices should be replaced “no more frequently than every 72-96 hours” but that evidence for leaving catheters in place unless clinically indicated was an “unresolved issue.”

    The 2002 guidelines are based on findings from early small studies that suggested routine replacement might limit complications such as phlebitis. But the proposed change comes as evidence mounts that replacing intravenous devices every three days is not clinically indicated. A Cochrane review published earlier …

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