Best Practice Peripheral Intravenous Line Management: An Exploration of Anesthesia Practitioners’ Knowledge of and Compliance with Infection Control Guidelines
Peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters are one of the most commonly used devices in healthcare, with nearly 200 million placed annually. While essential for patient care, they provide a direct route for microorganisms to enter the body, potentially placing patients at risk. Anesthesia practitioners routinely place and manage these lines in the operating arena; thus, they play a crucial role in mitigating the risks associated with them. The consequences of IV infections, and the potential role of anesthesia practitioners in these complications, is described in existing literature. To help facilitate proper IV line management and improve patient outcomes, the Centers for Disease Control and Transmission (CDC) and the Joint Commission routinely release best practice guidelines based on the most up-to-date evidence. To determine anesthesia practitioners’ knowledge of and compliance with these guidelines, a convenience sample of anesthesia practitioners, including Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, anesthesiologists, and Anesthesiologist Assistants, was surveyed. This study found that for many of the guidelines, the participants were knowledgeable; however, only 48% know the proper IV port scrub time and only 20% know the recommended dry time. Furthermore, despite demonstrating knowledge of the majority of the CDC infection control principles, compliance with those items consistently fell below 60%, with some as low as 24%. Additionally, compliance with the recommended IV port scrub time and dry time were only 15% and 8%, respectively. Despite attempts to hypothesize why anesthesia practitioners routinely neglect standards of infection control, limited research exists to validate these findings. As healthcare providers with legal and ethical obligations to protect patients, it is critical to determine the specific barriers to proper peripheral IV line management that exist and to find ways to increase compliance in the fast-paced settings of anesthesia practice.
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