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Donna Fritz
Dry heat vs moist heat for PIV insertion

This was just published in the Oncology Nursing Forum (July) issue by a group at Univ of Colorado Hospital--done in their infusion center.  Here is the abstract:

Purpose/Objectives: To determine whether dry versus moist heat application to the upper extremity improves IV insertion rates.

Design: Two-group, randomized, controlled clinical design.

Setting: An academic cancer infusion center in the western United States.

Sample: 136 hematologic outpatients with cancer or other malignancies.

Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to dry or moist heat with warmed towels wrapped around each patient’s arm for seven minutes prior to IV insertion. Skin and room temperatures were monitored pre- and postwarming. Two experienced chemotherapy infusion nurses performed the venipunctures according to protocol. Outcomes were examined using variance analysis, with 34 patients for each combination of nurse and heat type.

Main Research Variables: Number of IV insertion attempts, time to achieve IV insertion postheating, patient anxiety levels pre- and postheating, and patient comfort.

Findings: Dry heat was 2.7 times more likely than moist heat to result in successful IV insertion on the first attempt, had significantly lower insertion times, and was more comfortable. Heat type had no effect on patient anxiety.

Conclusions: Dry heat application decreases the likelihood of multiple IV insertion attempts and procedure time and is comfortable, safe, and economical to use in an outpatient oncology setting.

Implications for Nursing: Dry heat application may improve successful IV insertion rates, decrease costs, and improve patient satisfaction.

Angela Lee
Thanks.  This would make
Thanks.  This would make sense as moist heat once removed would result in evaporation which would then actually cool the skin.  Working in peds I have also found that general body warming is more effective than "spot" warming (i.e. warm compress to the extremity), which also cools rapidly once the heat source is removed.
Can you post the complete

Can you post the complete bibliography information - authors name, article title, etc? Thanks, Lynn


Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Donna Fritz
Fink, R., Hjort, E., Wenger,

Fink, R., Hjort, E., Wenger, B., Cook, P., Cunningham, M., Orf, A., Pare, W., and Zwink, J.  (2009).  The impact of dry versus moist heat on peripheral IV catheter insertion in a hematology-oncology outpatient population.  Oncology Nursing Forum 36 (4): E198-E204.  (The E indicates electronic, I suppose.)

 It's the July 2009 issue, but only found online, not in the hard copy journal.  ONF seems to be doing more articles online and fewer published in the hard copy version.  I'm sure they are moving that direction

 BTW, the second name is not a mis-spelling . . . it is Hjort.

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