New Guidelines Improve Safety and Effectiveness of IVs for Hospital Patients

By Jason M Carlton

More than a billion times a year, doctors and nurses insert tiny tubes into the veins of American hospital patients so they can deliver lifesaving medicine, give fluids and nutrition, monitor key vital signs, and help patients with conditions ranging from cancer and pain to kidney failure and serious infections.

But these tiny tubes carry risks, as well as benefits. They reach deep into the bloodstream, t providing a gateway for microbes and a place for life-threatening blood clots to form. Despite their widespread use, no clear guidelines exist to help clinicians know the best device for each individual patient’s needs, or devices to avoid at all costs. 

Until now.