I.V. ROUNDS: When to use a midline catheter

April 2005 
Volume 35  Number 4
Pages 68 - 68
  PDF Version Available!


  • When are midline catheters used?

  • How do I manage a midline catheter?



  • Figure. No caption a...

    SUPPOSE YOUR patient's I.V. treatment plan calls for a hospital stay of 6 to 10 days and he has limited venous access. He could need restarts due to complications associated with the drug's pH or osmolarity. A midline catheter may fit neatly into this patient's care plan.

    Although considered a peripherally inserted catheter, a midline catheter is inserted in a larger vein than those used for standard I.V. therapy: The recommended insertion site is the basilic, cephalic, or median vein in the antecubital fossa. The catheter, which is 8 inches (20 cm) long for adults, is advanced until the distal tip rests in the upper arm, at or below the axillary line. A larger arm vessel provides better drug hemodilution than the smaller vessels used for standard ...

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