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July 1984

The Natural History of Intravenous Catheter—Associated Phlebitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Internal Medicine (Drs Hershey, Tomford, and Cohen and Mr Porter) and Biometry (Dr McLaren), Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(7):1373-1375. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350190057010

• During a controlled evaluation of an Intravenous therapy (IVT) team, we had the opportunity to follow up 202 episodes of catheter-associated phlebitis. While the IVT team had a considerable effect on the incidence of phlebitis, the clinical course of this complication was not influenced. More than 40% of catheter-associated phlebitis occurred more than 24 hours after withdrawal of the catheter. Premonitory symptoms were not useful in predicting the development of phlebitis. Factors that influenced the duration of phlebitis included the patient's diagnosis and the administration of vancomycin hydrochloride. The duration of phlebitis was prolonged by delayed removal of the catheter after the development of phlebitis.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1373-1375)