Comparison of clinically indicated and routine replacement of peripheral venous catheters

systematic review with meta-analysis


  • Maria João Eufrásio Centro Hospitalar do Baixo Vouga. Aveiro, Portugal | Health School of the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Viseu, Portugal
  • António Madureira Dias Health School of the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal. Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing (UICISA:E)
  • Eduardo Santos Health School of the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Viseu, Portugal | Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing (UICISA:E), Nursing School of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal



catheterization, peripheral, catheters, indwelling, phlebitis, infections, device removal


Introduction: The peripheral venous catheter is currently widely used in health care. Its placement represents an invasive procedure and there is an increased risk of complications such as phlebitis and bloodstream infection. The decision about the correct moment for its replacement is still a matter of debate.

Objectives: To assess the effects of peripheral venous catheter replacement when clinically indicated compared to routine replacement.

Methods: A systematic review with meta-analysis was carried out according to the methodology proposed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Two independent reviewers perform the critical appraisal, extraction and synthesis of the data.

Results: The corpus of the review was composed of eight randomised controlled clinical trials and one quasi-experimental study. Results of the meta-analysis showed no differences in phlebitis rate (RR=1.31; 95%CI=0.93-1.84; p=0.13) and bloodstream infection (RR=0.82; 95%CI=0.20-3.4; p=0.997) when comparing exchange by clinical indication and routine.

Conclusion: Increasing the catheter's length of stay will not lead to a higher risk of phlebitis and bloodstream infection, so changing it routinely is an ineffective practice that should be changed. The replacement only when there is a clinical indication is a safe practice.


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How to Cite

Eufrásio, M. J., Dias, A. M. ., & Santos, E. (2021). Comparison of clinically indicated and routine replacement of peripheral venous catheters: systematic review with meta-analysis . Millenium - Journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(9e), 81–90.



Life and Healthcare Sciences