[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 27, 1984

Intravenous Tubing With Burettes Can Be Safely Changed at 48-Hour Intervals

JAMA. 1984;251(16):2112-2115. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340400040022

No studies of safety in changing intravenous systems containing in-line burettes at 48 hours in an intensive care setting have been performed. Patients entering a surgical intensive care unit were alternatively assigned to have any line with an in-line burette changed at either 24-hour (64 patients) or 48-hour (59 patients) intervals. Daily quantitative cultures with a 2-mL aliquot of burette fluid were obtained. Contaminated burette fluid was detected in nine of 452 (2.0%; 95% confidence interval, 0.7% to 3.3%) samples from 24-hour interval burettes and in nine of 224 (4.0%; 95% confidence interval, 1.4% to 6.6%) samples from 48-hour interval burettes. Bacterial contamination of burette fluid with ten or more colonies per milliliter occurred in only five (1.1%) cultures from patients in the 24-hour interval group compared with only two cultures (0.9%) in the 48-hour group. None of the contaminated burette fluids was associated with primary bacteremia. Change of in-line burettes in patients in intensive care at 48-hour intervals is safe and should result in substantial cost savings.

(JAMA 1984;251:2112-2115)