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Sterile gauze when discontinuing a PIV

What is your practice? When discontinuing a PIV do you use sterile gauze or clean? We are rewritting our PIV policy and this is a hot topic. Some say a clean gauze should be used, others think what is a clean gauze? Was it put in the nurses pocket with her pens and money? Was it put on a bedside table we have all seen what lives on bedside tables!

Others think its a wound and best practice would be a sterile 2x2 gauze over the insertion site. What's 0.02 cents when decreasing the posibility of infections. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Gwen Irwin
We have the same

We have the same discussion!  We have nurses using non-sterile cotton balls, in spite of the policy stating sterile gauze!  How many hands have been in that container with the cotton balls.............what contaminants must be there.

I believe that the best practice is what the INS standards say.  Sterile procedure.  Use sterile gauze.

When I can get data from the one hospital in our network that uses cotton balls, I hope to present the difference in complications from this practice.

 Gwen Irwin

Gwen, Where in the  INS


Where in the  INS Standards does it say to use  sterile gauze when discontinuing a PIV. I cant find it.

I do think its best practice, some want hard data. If its in the standards it done.

Thanks again

The INS standard #49

The INS standard #49 Catheter Removal does not state that a sterile gauze is required. In fact there is no statement at all about the type of dressing that should be left on the site of a short peripheral catheter. I also looked in the Policy and Procedure book and again there are no statements about the dressing after removal of a short peripheral catheter. I would hasten to add that sterile gauze in my opinion would provide the safest approach to this task, in my opinion. I actually do not believe that a sterile gauze is required for this site, however I have serious concerns about the issues that have been described about where and how non-sterile gauze is stored. We have a study that shows contamination of 74% of tape specimens from nursing units is contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. If the gauze is stored in the same manner as rolls of tape, I would suspect a similar rate of contamination. If you can find small packages of non-sterile gauze that is actually cheaper than the package of a sterile gauze, I think this would be sufficent but the unused portion should not be used on another patient. 


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

Hi Connie, we use to sterile
Hi Connie, we use to sterile gauze in our  facility.  Like Lynn mentioned, if your no-sterile gauze are kep in a medcart, how much contamination is there on those gauzes. Best to get a sterile gauze. thanks
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