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Laurie McCulloch
IV Site care care beyond 72 or 96 hours

Please share with me what your practice is with respect to "IV site" care when extending a site beyond 72 or 96 hours.

Our IV team disagrees as to what 'IV site care' is when a site is extended. We all assess the site daily but the disagreement occurs as to whether it is 'best practice' to change the dressing daily or to leave it for another 72 hours. We use tegaderm dressings and chlorhex/alcohol swabs for care. I have not been successful in finding any supportive literature on this seemingly simple practice issue.

Should we be pulling the dressing off every day? Seems to me that we are exposing the site to potential for contamination.

I am not aware of any

I am not aware of any published guidelines or information about this, so you must rely upon your own common sense. In my opinion, you must be assessing the site frequently. Once daily is not enough for any IV site, regardless of its age. With a TSM, you can see the complete site. I do not think there is a need to change this dressing at any given point. We now leave the dressing on a CVC for a week, so why should we do anything different for a PIV. If the catheter is needed for longer than a week, even if this site still looks great, you should be getting this site replaced with another type of catheter. Use of a short PIV beyond a week is too long, in my opinion. Lynn 


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

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., NPD-BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

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