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Reducing the Risk of IV Catheter Related Infections

Catheterisation is one of the most common methods to help flush out chemicals, toxins, and many more such fluids from the body. Whether used in urinary expulsion, ostomy bags, or pleural drainage systems, these catheters are the common factor to draw fluids and other debris from the body. Catheters are also used to induce medications or other fluids into the bloodline or to some specific organs for treatment purposes. One such catheter types are IV catheters.

What are IV Catheters?

Intra-venous catheters or IV catheters are small tubes placed inside the peripheral or central veins, and are used to administer fluids or medications to the body. Once inserted, they can be used to draw blood.
These catheters are usually placed in the peripheral vein in the arm or the leg or the central vein in the chest or the neck.

Need for IV Catheters

IV catheters are one of kind catheters as they are specially designed to be placed into the peripheral or central veins. Generally used in intensive care units around the world, these catheters are also used during parental nutrition processes, chemotherapy, and blood extraction.

Administering medicines orally might result in a delay of the effects of the medicines. Hence many a time, doctors administer the medicine directly to the blood stream through an IV catheter. This way the medicines reach the targeted spot faster which in turn speeds the process of healing. Medicines and glucose are two of the most common fluids that are administered through IV catheters.

Procedure of Using an IV Catheter

IV catheters are not like other catheters and require a step by step procedure to be used.

  1. A tourniquet should be first applied to the body part so that the veins are easily visible
  2. The skin should be cleaned by an antiseptic agent and the gloves sued should be sterile
  3. The catheter is inserted by the means of a needle which should then be later removed and replaced by a cannula
  4. The catheter should then be taped to the skin of the patient
  5. Always see to it that the patient doesn’t have any allergies to the adhesive

Precautions to Reduce IV catheter Related Infection

  • The sterile dressing should be kept absolutely dry and hence it should be covered while taking a shower or a bath
  • The cannula should be replaced every three days
  • The gloves used must be hygienic and sterile
  • See to it that the antiseptic agent and adhesive are recommended by your doctor
  • Check for allergies before applying anything on the skin

Types of IV Catheters

There are four different types of IV Catheters:

  • Peripheral IV Catheter – This is one of the commonest types of IV catheters. The are genrally placed in the peripheral vein of the arm or the leg. The sizes range from size 24 gauge to size 14 gauge. There are two subtypes of Peripheral catheters. First are over-the-needle catheters where the needle precedes the catheter and the needle is removed upon insertion. The second are steel needle or butterfly catheters where there are wing like plastic tubes at the base of the needle.
  • Midline Peripheral Catheter – It is 3 to 10 inches in length and is inserted into the arm through the elbow. It is embedded deep into the vein thus reducing the chances of the catheter slipping out. It reaches a larger vein in turn reducing irritation.
  • Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter– This catheter is the longest of all IV catheters and is inserted through the elbow and pushed up the veins into the vena cava thus leading straight to the heart.
  • Central Venous Catheters– They are inserted in to the body through the neck, upper chest, or the anterior chest. The tip of these catheters leads straight to the vena cava. Medications are administered directly into the main blood stream. There are four subtypes; PICC, non-tunnelled external catheter, tunnelled external catheter, and implanted port catheter.

Choose from Best IV Catheters Available:

BD Insyte Autoguard Winged Shielded IV Catheters

It is made of BD Vialon biomaterial and features stabilizing wing. BD Insyte Winged Shielded Catheters reduces painful hit-and-miss insertions. Push-Button Shielding mechanism releases the spring and allows the needle and flash chamber to quickly retract into the safety barrel.

BD Insyte Autoguard Winged Shielded IV Catheters
  BD Insyte Autoguard Winged Shielded IV Catheters

B. Braun Introcan Safety Polyurethane Straight IV Catheter

It is a passive safety device activates automatically and cannot be bypassed. B. Braun Straight Catheter ensures first stick success and patient comfort through quick visualization of both syringe and catheter flashback.

BD SAF-T Intima Closed IV Catheter System

Made of clinically superior BD Vialon biomaterial, SAF-T Intima Closed Catheter  offers passive needle shielding. The integrated system provides added protection from blood and blood related pathogens. The telescoping safety shield covers the needle after use to avoid injuries.

BD SAF-T Intima Closed IV Catheter System

IV catheters are one of kind catheters and are an important part of intensive care units even today. They have been equipped with a number of safety measures thus making them feasible and accessible for home use as well.