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Emergency department, Peripheral intravenous catheter, Phlebitis, Prehospital



  1. Zarate, Ligia MS, RN
  2. Mandleco, Barbara PhD, RN
  3. Wilshaw, Russell MS, RN
  4. Ravert, Patricia PhD, RN


The purpose of this study was to determine the rates of phlebitis in trauma patients according to where the peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) was inserted in a prehospital setting or in an emergency department setting. Variables investigated also included where the catheter was anatomically placed, the gauge of the catheter, and the patients' Injury Severity Score. The overall phlebitis rate was 5.79%. The rate of phlebitis was 2.92% when started by an RN in the emergency department, 6.09% when started by an intermediate emergency medical technician and 7.78% when started by a paramedic in prehospital setting. There was no significant difference in the rates of phlebitis when a chi-square analysis was performed. In addition, no variables predicted phlebitis no matter where the PIVC was started when a regression analysis was conducted. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests removing the PIVC within 48 hours if placed under emergency situations, the phlebitis rates of trauma patients in this study meet the benchmark of best practice. Perhaps removing the PIVC within 48 hours of placement should be reconsidered.