Events & training

The impact of flushing with prefilled saline syringes on the incidence of peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) failure—a BD webinar

July 12, 2021

Do you want to know more about PIVC use, its complications and what can be done to reduce its failure rates? Watch a recorded BD webinar with guest speaker Dr Pujol, MD, PhD, Clinical Head of Infectious Diseases Service at Bellvitge University Hospital and Director of the healthcare-associated infections surveillance program, the VINCat program, based in Catalonia, Spain. As an expert in his field, Dr Pujol shares the findings of a study he conducted surrounding the use of prefilled saline syringes and their impact on PIVC failure rates.1

With up to 70% of hospitalised patients requiring a peripheral venous line2, PIVCs are the most frequently used invasive device in hospital settings.2 Since the development of disposable medical devices in the mid-twentieth century3, PIVCs have played an essential role in healthcare4, providing essential fluids to patients during treatment.

The complications of PIVC use

In this webinar, Dr Pujol highlights the major challenges surrounding the use of PIVCs.  The use of PIVCs is associated with a variety of complications and an overall failure rate of up to 50%.5 Dr Pujol defines PIVC failure as the premature removal of a PIVC before the end of treatment, except for routine device replacement. Phlebitis, infiltration, occlusion and catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) are all complications that can result in the premature removal of a catheter device. 4 The occurrence of CRBSIs, in particular, can be life-threatening and extremely costly.6 In a study conducted by the VINCat program, the use of PIVCs was associated with 19% of all CRBSI occurrences 7 which highlights the impact PIVCs have on healthcare.

Flushing to prevent PIVC failure

Dr Pujol underlines the importance of preventing PIVC failure to improve clinical outcomes and patient wellbeing.

Flushing catheters before and after use could prevent contamination between incompatible fluids and medications which can lead to complications. Despite the known benefits of flushing, compliance with the practice is low.

Prefilled saline syringes eliminate the need to repeatedly draw fluid solution from multiple-dose vials and large-volume bags of normal saline, which could lead to contamination. 

According to Pujol’s 2019 study, the use of prefilled saline syringes improves clinical outcomes by increasing PIVC dwell time and serves as a protective factor against PIVC failure, therefore enhancing patient safety.1

Watch the recorded webinar hosted by BD to discover more about flushing with prefilled saline syringes and the prevention of PIVC failure. Don’t miss the interactive Q&A session at the end where our host, Servane Pelle, European Associate Director, Medical Affairs at BD, facilitates audience questions to Dr Pujol. 

Watch the replay

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1  Saliba P, Cuervo G, Hornero A, et al. The impact of flushing with pre-filled saline syringes on the incidence of peripheral venous catheter failure: A quasi-experimental study. The Journal of Vascular Access. 2019; 21(4):490-496. doi: 10.1177/1129729819888423

2  Zingg W, Pittet D. Peripheral venous catheters: an under-evaluated problem. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009;34 Suppl 4:S38-42. doi: 10.1016/S0924-8579(09)70565-5. PMID: 19931816.

3  Rivera A, Strauss K, Van Zundert A, Mortier E. (2005). The history of peripheral intravenous catheters : How little plastic tubes revolutionized medicine. Acta anaesthesiologica Belgica. 56. 271-82.

4  Marsh N, Webster J, Mihala G, Rickard CM. Devices and dressings to secure peripheral venous catheters to prevent complications. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jun 12;(6):CD011070. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011070.pub2. PMID: 26068958.

5  Helm RE, Klausner JD, Klemperer JD, Flint LM, Huang E. Accepted but unacceptable: peripheral IV catheter failure. J Infus Nurs. 2015 May-Jun;38(3):189-203. doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000100. PMID: 25871866.

6  Hollenbeak CS. The cost of catheter-related bloodstream infections: implications for the value of prevention. J Infus Nurs. 2011 Sep-Oct;34(5):309-13. doi: 10.1097/NAN.0b013e3182285e43. PMID: 21915004.

7  Almirante B, Limón E, Freixas N, Gudiol F; VINCat Program. Laboratory-based surveillance of hospital-acquired catheter-related bloodstream infections in Catalonia. Results of the VINCat Program (2007-2010). Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2012 Jun;30 Suppl 3:13-9. doi: 10.1016/S0213-005X(12)70091-5. PMID: 22776149.

Approval number: BD-35920.