Peripheral venous lines – rotate or not?

An age old discussion: should you change iv-lines after 72-96 hours, as proposed by any proper guideline out there?

This study finishes the discussion once and for all (it probably wasn’t an issue after some previous studies already) – there is no point in prophylactically resiting. Yet there are some important take homes for your care of iv-lines:

  • emergency lines (not inserted with maximum sterility) should be changed, if protracted iv-treatment is expected
  • non-emergency lines should be inserted with best possible sterility (3 times disinfection, give them time, use a proper sterile swab)
  • if there is any hint of thrombophlebitis, try to recover some germs from it before pulling it out (probably too late), then check the degree of local thrombosis. If there is any, consider heparin + antibiotics. If it extends to near deep veins, do an ultrasound and heparinize.
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