Could anyone explain how the venous valve plays a factor in failure of IV insertions? Thanks.
This is definitely not a myth. Valves are folds extending from the wall of the vein and meeting in the middle. They open and close to move blood return to the heart in conjunction with the muscle pump action. Valves are lined with the same endothelial cells as the vein wall. This means that damage to a valve can create the phlebitis/thrombophlebitis. Post-phlebotic syndrome means that a valve has been damaged rendering them less effective at opening and closing correctly.
Passing any and all catheter successfully requires that it pass through the vein lumen where the valve leaflets meet. If the catheter is angled toward the body of the valve or where the valve meets the vein wall, the catheter will not pass successfully and there could easily be damage to the valve and possibly the vein wall. A clinched fist during the veinpuncture procedure causes muscle contractions and closure of lower valves, therefore posing a problem with catheter passage. So understanding the function of both the valves, the vein wall, and the muscle pump action will help you to understand that valves can easily create problems for catheter passage. You can read more details of this in the Anatomy and Physiology Chapter in the INS textbook. Lynn
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