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May 6, 1974

Prevention of Phlebitis

Author Affiliations

Columbia, Miss

JAMA. 1974;228(6):695-696. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310017012

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To the Editor.—  Phlebitis is a common complication of intravenous therapy. Many studies have been done as to causes and possible modes of prevention. There seems to be a relationship between the incidence of phlebitis and the components of intravenous fluids.The University of Washington manual on Fluid and Electrolyte Balance recommends aseptic intravenous site care, 10 mg of heparin sodium and 1 mg of hydrocortisone per liter of intravenous fluids, to help keep the vein patent and to avoid possible infiltration, as well as keeping down inflammation or foreign body reaction locally at the intravenous needle site.We used a modified regimen of 5 mg of heparin and 1 mg of hydrocortisone per liter of intravenous fluids where cephalothin (Keflin), gentamicin, kanamycin, or potassium salts were administered by intravenous route. The incidence of phlebitis decreased greatly and the longevity of these vessels ranged from 72 to 104 hours (along