• A prospective controlled trial was conducted on four similar inpatient medical wards to test the hypothesis that a trained Intravenous therapy (IVT) team would substantially reduce the incidence of peripheral intravenous (IV) catheter-related complications. We followed 863 IV catheters. The overall incidence of phlebitis in the ward staff—maintained IV catheters was 32% as compared with 15% for those maintained by the IVT team. The incidence of two more serious complications (cellulitis and suppurative phlebitis) was reduced tenfold from 2.1% to 0.2%. We conclude that an IVT team can substantially reduce the iatrogenic complications related to IV catheters.
(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1191-1194)