Q&A: EJ Vein Access

Q: IV access is difficult to obtain in many patients. The patient presented to PACU with external jugular IV access inserted in the OR by a LIP. The IV catheter was a short peripheral IV catheter. Is this acceptable for continued IV access in the hospitalized patient on a regular Med/Surg. floor? Hospital policy did not address this specific issue. Your insight and opinion are appreciated. Thank you.

A:  To answer your question, I would refer you to the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice 2016 on External Jugular Vein Access. Standard 27 Practice Criteria VII. It states:

“ When a short peripheral catheter is inserted into the external jugular vein and infusion therapy is expected to exceed 96 hours, collaborate with the LIP for an alternative vascular access site as soon as possible.”

External jugular vein access are inserted in an emergency situations when other veins cannot be accessed. In my opinion, the EJ access will not be suited for continued use in a regular med surg floor.

Hope this helps and thank you for your question. If you are not familiar with the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, you can find information here. https://www.ins1.org/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=113266


FYI – previous blog post on External Jugular IVs  – click here

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