Vesicants and Extravasation

These two terms defined by the Infusion Nurses Society means: Vesicant – an agent capable of causing blistering, tissue sloughing or necrosis when it escapes from the intended vascular pathway into surrounding tissue. Extravasation – the inadvertent infiltration of vesicant solution or medication into surrounding tissue. There are several chemotherapeutic agents with vesicant properties, and…

SPC Insertion Guide Card Deck

There is a great resource available to nurses and other healthcare providers. It is the SPC insertion guide card deck. The Short Peripheral Catheter (SPC) Insertion Card Deck provides step-by-step instruction for successful venipuncture in children and adults. The deck highlights proper site selection, insertion techniques, as well as care and maintenance methods. It also…

Think Safety, Insert Safely

In June of 2013, I was honored to chair a national task force for the Infusion Nurses Society’s (INS) project on Short Peripheral Catheter Safety (SPC).  Along with five other colleagues, we embarked on a task  to identify the safety and practice issues and  look at ways to promote safety in the insertion and management…

Celebrate IV Nurse Day – January 25, 2014

In 1980, the professional practice of infusion nursing was formally recognized when the United States House of Representatives declared  each January 25 as IV Nurse Day. This recognition was the beginning of what the infusion specialty has become. Specialization marks the advancement of nursing practice. It signifies that nursing has moved from a global approach to a…

Q&A: Tips to improve IV insertion skills

Q: Do you have any tips on how to improve my IV insertion skills? A: This is one of the FAQ and often comes from new blog readers. I have blogged about this many times before but I thought I’d post it again. To some of my long time readers, this may not be new…

Q&A: Insulin and PICCs

Q: What kind of IV solutions can be given through a PICC line? Is it safe to give Humolog insulin or should I start another IV line? A:  PICC is short for peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a central vascular access device (CVAD) inserted into an extremity and advanced in the venous system until…

Q&A: PICC line dressing – clean or sterile?

Q: Can you please let me know if a PICC line dressing can be a clean procedure or does it have to be sterile? A:  First, I will direct you to your organization’s policy and procedure on central vascular access device (CVAD) dressing change procedure to determine the procedure to follow. If you can’t locate…