Ultrasound education improves safety for peripheral intravenous catheter insertion in critically ill children

Academic Article


  • Background: Difficulty in obtaining peripheral vascular access is a common problem in patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The use of ultrasound guidance can improve the overall success in obtaining vascular access. This study evaluated the success and longevity of PIV placement by nurses pre- and post-implementation of an USGPIV curriculum. Methods: PICU nurses participated in a prospective quality improvement study. Each participating nurse attempted 10 PIVs by using landmark (LM) methods. The same nurses then received individual instruction in an USGPIV placement curriculum. Following the educational intervention, each nurse attempted 10 USGPIVs. Results: A total of 150 LM PIVs and 143 USGPIVs were attempted. The first stick success in the post-intervention (USGPIV) group was 85.9% compared to 47.3% in the pre-intervention (LM) group (p < 0.001). Overall success was also superior in the USGPIV group (94.3 versus 57.3%, respectively; p < 0.001). PIVs placed by US lasted longer with a median survival time of 4 ± 3.84 days versus 3 ± 3.51 days for LM PIVs (p < 0.050, log-rank test). Conclusions: Successful implementation of a standardized curriculum for USGPIV placement for PICU nurses improves first stick, overall success, and longevity of PIV catheter placement. Impact: An ultrasound-guided IV curriculum can be successfully implemented resulting in increased first stick success and increased longevity.Registered nurses can be trained in placement of ultrasound-guided IV placement.This study provides a training curriculum for ultrasound-guided IV placement that can be applied to other settings or institutions.
  • Published In

  • Pediatric Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bhargava V; Su E; Haileselassie B; Davis D; Steffen KM
  • Start Page

  • 1057
  • End Page

  • 1063
  • Volume

  • 91
  • Issue

  • 5