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Placement and maintenance of peripheral intravenous catheters to prevent infection

  1. Clip hair from the proposed site of catheter insertion.
  2. Perform hand hygiene and put on clean gloves.
  3. Use gauze sponges, sterile saline, and chlorhexidine scrub diluted with sterile saline to between 0.5 and 2% chlorhexidine to prepare the skin.
  4. Perform hand hygiene again and put on sterile or clean gloves to insert the catheter. Do not reuse a catheter after a failed attempt.
  5. Attach a catheter cap, T set, or suitable extension set to the catheter, and flush the catheter with sterile saline solution. Carefully secure the catheter with tape and cover it with sterile bandage materials. Povidone iodine ointment may be applied at the site of entry into the skin.
  6. Examine the catheter site at least two times daily. Observe for pain and evaluate for evidence of swelling or thrombophlebitis. If the bandage is not clean and dry, replace the bandage. If there is any evidence of thrombophlebitis and the catheter is still necessary, replace the catheter in a different site.
  7. When IV lines are disconnected (e.g., to take a dog for a walk), the sites of connection should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol single-use wipes and capped with injection caps. Do not reuse injection caps.
  8. IV tubing used for fluid administration should be changed every 72 hr. The IV tubing used for TPN administration should be changed every time a new bag of TPN is placed, or every 24 hr, whichever is more frequent.

TPN, total parenteral nutrition.

These guidelines are supported by a generous educational grant from Virox Animal Health™.