A study into the use of IV drips finds that catheters only need to be changed when clinically necessary, and not every three days as has been the standard practice for 40 years.
Over 3,000 adult patients in Queensland hospitals were monitored. Average catheter dwell time in the clinically indicated group was 99 hours, compared to the group who underwent routine replacement every 70 hours. The results were the same for both groups with 7% experiencing infection.
The finding raises hope for reducing the need to change catheters, which can be costly and distressing to patients.