1. Marchetti, Jessica M. MSN, RNC, VA-BC
  2. Blaine, Tricia BS, RNC, VA-BC
  3. Shelly, Colleen E. MPH
  4. Cherkerzian, Sara ScD
  5. Hanley, Nina BSN, RNC, VA-BC
  6. Murphy, Lindsey BSN, RNC, VA-BC
  7. Gregory, Katherine E. PhD, RN, FANN


Background: Implementing innovative approaches to vascular access can be challenging in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).


Purpose: The purpose of this project was to describe the implementation of extended dwell peripheral intravenous (EPIV) catheters, a vascular access device not widely used in the NICU. The implementation involved (1) designing clinical criteria for EPIV catheter use, (2) education of vascular access NICU nurses, and (3) comparing clinical outcomes between vascular access devices (ie, PIV and EPIV catheters).


Methods: We developed evidence-based clinical criteria guiding the use of vascular access devices. We then developed an educational plan for NICU nurses focused on vascular access. Finally, we collected and compared demographic characteristics and clinical data on catheter type and placement attempts, dwell time, and clinical complications associated with each catheter.


Results: EPIV catheters were implemented according to evidence-based criteria by a vascular access NICU nursing team. Fifteen percent of PIV catheter placements required 3 or more attempts compared with just 1% of EPIV catheter placement attempts. EPIV catheters had a longer median dwell time (3.5 vs 1 day) and fewer complications than PIV catheters (P < .001).


Implications for Practice and Research: Implementation of an evidence-based approach to vascular access by a team of NICU nurses may improve clinical outcomes. EPIV catheters may be an appropriate alternative device to PIV catheters due to fewer placement attempts, longer dwell times, and overall fewer complications during use. Future vascular access research in the NICU may include a greater focus on innovative placement strategies, optimal maintenance and infection control, and prevention of complications.