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.
Gorbea HF, Snydman DR, Delaney A, Stockman J, Martin WJ. Intravenous Tubing With Burettes Can Be Safely Changed at 48-Hour Intervals. JAMA. 1984;251(16):2112–2115. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340400040022
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