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Journal Article

Peripheral Teflon Catheters: Factors Determining Incidence of Phlebitis and Duration of Cannulation

Oliver A. Cornely , MD, U. Bethe , MD, Regina Pauls , MD and D. Waldschmidt , MD
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 23, No. 5 (May 2002), pp. 249-253
DOI: 10.1086/502044
Stable URL:
Page Count: 5
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Peripheral Teflon Catheters: Factors Determining Incidence of Phlebitis and Duration of Cannulation
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BACKGROUND.  Catheter‐related phlebitis is a frequent problem in the clinical setting. Risk factors for catheter‐related phlebitis were assessed at a single tertiary‐care institution where no routine change policy for peripheral intravenous catheters is in place. METHODS.  In a nonrandomized, observational trial, peripheral intravenous Teflon catheters were inserted in patients with a diagnosis of leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumor, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, other serious infection, or autoimmune disorder. Underlying disease, age, white blood cell count at the time of insertion, physician placing the catheter, catheter bore, duration of cannulation, reason for removal of the catheter, and visual inspection of the insertion site were recorded. RESULTS.  Four hundred twelve catheters were inserted in 175 patients. The number of catheterizations per episode varied between 1 and 7. Three hundred sixty‐four (88.3%) catheter placements were evaluable. The mean duration of cannulation was 4.2 days. The overall incidence of phlebitis was 12.9%. Catheters in leukopenic patients showed a longer duration of cannulation compared with catheters in nonleukopenic patients, but no difference regarding the phlebitis rate. CONCLUSION.  Findings in this study partly contrast with data reported in the literature. In particular, leukopenia, female gender, prolonged duration of cannulation, antibiotics, and choice of insertion site could not be shown to be risk factors.

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