Background and purpose: Excessive use of peripheral intravenous catheters (PICs) is associated with greater numbers of complications and higher costs, while patient characteristics and indications associated with idle catheters in emergency wards are rarely reported. Methods: In total, 400 patients who received an empiric PIC in the emergency ward were assigned to either a necessary or idle catheter group according to the inclusion criteria. Their characteristics, presentations, and indications for a PIC were analyzed. Results: Among all catheters, 45% were idle. We found that patients presenting with fever (odds ratio (OR): 8.31), leukocytosis (OR: 1.55), and diarrhea (OR: 10.07) were more likely to have an idle catheter. Patients who received a PIC for electrolyte disturbances also had more idle catheters than those with other indications. Conclusions: We found that nearly half of empiric PICs were idle in our study. Considering the excessive costs, complications, and injuries from PICs, we suggest judicious use of PICs when there are less-invasive and more-effective alternatives.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- peripheral venous catheterization
- intravenous infusion
- unnecessary procedure