Background: Peripheral intravenous (PIV) access is one of the most commonly performed invasive procedures in unwell patients. Although, most patients can have PIVs placed by palpation, there is a subset of patients with difficult vascular access that will require ultrasound-guided peripheral IVs. We have covered this topic before with Jacob Avila (The Ultrasound Podcast, 5 Minute Sono) in . One thing we did not cover was catheter dwell rates. Catheter dwell rate is an important endpoint as it takes time to perform the procedure, but more importantly for the patient, premature IV failure can include complications such as infiltration, phlebitis, ischemia, necrosis, as well as delays in receiving medications. Therefore, an important concept worth covering is the length of the catheter that is in the vein.
Midline catheters, which we have also covered on REBEL EM are catheters with lengths of 6 to 20cm and represent a potential solution. These catheters have high success rates and longevity, but insertion requires institutional protocols and specialized training. A nice go between is the peripheral ultralong catheter (ULC), which is 6.35cm. As with anything new in medicine, it is important to review the evidence to ensure we are performing best practices for our patients....Read More