Inspired by an excellent post by Dr. Pat Nelligan on AnaesthesiaWest we would like to provide even more evidence against routine change of IV catheters... just because you are told to do so for hospital policy reasons.
Brown D. et al. have provided an excellent overview article on this issue. It is clearly shown that peripheral IV catheter should be replaced as clinically indicated, rather than on a routine basis. The level of evidence here is: A. This means that this recommendation of this treatment/ procedure is effective! We add another 3 articles supporting this recommendation. We do many other things on ICU with lower levels of evidence, or even no evidence at all. So it is definitely time to change this bad habit.
So Pat, I won’t do it either... full stop!
Bregenzer T, et al. Arch Intern Med, January 1998; 158(2):151-6
Lee WL, et al. Am J Infect Control, 2009 Oct;37(8):683-6
Lai KK, et al. Am J Infect Control, 1998 Feb;26(1):66-70