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Care of peripheral catheters

Set of activities performed by the nurse to the peripheral catheter patient.


– Keep the catheter permeable. – Prevent infections.


– Cure trolley or trolley. – Sterile drape. – Sharps container.


– 1 pair of sterile gloves. – Sterile dressings. – Sterile gauze. – 1 syringe 5 ml. – Antiseptic solution. – Infusion system. – Sterile fixative dressing. – 2 sterile obturators. – 3-step key. – Nursing records. – Solution to maintain patency of the IV line. Physiological saline solution 0.9% single dose.


– Perform hand washing. – Prepare the necessary material. – Preserve the patient’s privacy. – Inform the patient of the procedure to be performed. – Ask for the patient’s cooperation. – Place the patient in a comfortable position according to the puncture site. – Proceed to alcoholic hand disinfection.

– Maintenance care of the catheter: – Put on non-sterile gloves for manipulations of the system and sterile gloves to change the dressing. – Place sterile drape under the limb. Dressing changes: – Change the gauze dressing every day and if transparent every 3-4 days or when wet, stained or peeling. – Place a sterile gauze under the catheter-equipment/ obturator connection to avoid skin lesions.

Puncture site care:

– Monitor puncture site each time it is used and routinely every 24 hours, watching for signs of infection, and extravasation. – Change the catheter every 72-96 hours in adults and in pediatric patients when complications appear. – Change the catheter when there are signs of phlebitis, extravasation or obstruction. – Peripheral catheters that are not placed under aseptic conditions (emergency situations) should be replaced as soon as possible and always within 24 hours. Changes in infusion systems and connections: – Avoid disconnections of the system as much as possible. – Change the system every 48-72 hours for fluid therapy and every 24 hours for total parenteral nutrition. – When changing the catheter. – Disinfect the connection / obturators with antiseptic solution before and after use. Change the obturators for sterile ones each time they are removed from the catheter. Maintenance of peripheral catheter patency: – Flush the catheter every 8 hours and after use with 5-10 ml of 0.9% sodium chloride solution1 in single-dose ampoules to maintain patency of the peripheral line. – Dispose of sharps in the appropriate container. – Collect the material. – Leave the patient in a comfortable position. – Remove gloves. – Perform hand washing. – Record in nursing documentation: procedure, reason, date and time, incidents and patient response.


– Transparent dressings should be continuously monitored because of the risk of moisture aqu- mulation under it.

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