1. Mihala, Gabor MEng, GCert (Biostat)
  2. Ray-Barruel, Gillian PhD, RN
  3. Chopra, Vineet MD, MSc
  4. Webster, Joan BA, RN
  5. Wallis, Marianne PhD, RN, FACN
  6. Marsh, Nicole MAdvPrac, BN, RN
  7. McGrail, Matthew PhD, GradDip (IT), BSc (Hons)
  8. Rickard, Claire M. PhD, RN


This study was undertaken to calculate the incidence of 8 signs and symptoms used for the diagnosis of phlebitis with peripheral intravenous catheters, or short peripheral catheters, and the level of correlation between them. A total of 22 789 daily observations of 6 signs (swelling, erythema, leakage, palpable venous cord, purulent discharge, and warmth) and 2 symptoms (pain and tenderness) were analyzed of 5907 catheter insertion sites. Most signs and symptoms of phlebitis occurred only occasionally or rarely; the incidence of tenderness was highest (5.7%). Correlations were mostly low; warmth correlated strongly with tenderness, swelling, and erythema.