Monday, June 20, 2016

Giving vasoactive drugs through a peripheral IV

Controversy exists as to whether vasopressors can be given through a peripheral IV and practices vary from institution to institution. Here is a systematic review. Although the review was beset with significant methodologic issues some conclusions were drawn. From the review:

The available data do allow the conclusion that administration of vasopressors through the peripheral intravenous line appears to be associated with more local tissue and extravasation events compared with that through central venous catheters, although the events occur with both types of venous access. Additionally, when peripheral intravenous lines are used, local tissue and extravasation events seem to increase when vasopressors are administered through distal sites for an extended period. Therefore, peripheral catheters should be viewed as a bridge to central access, given the apparent higher rate of adverse events with prolonged peripheral administration of vasopressors.

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