From the Journal of Emergency Medicine, via Science Direct:
Prior studies have found that > 50% of prehospital intravenous catheters (i.v.s) were unutilized for treatment; however, few data are available regarding which patients benefit. The objective of this study was to examine the association between i.v. utilization in the field, paramedic primary impression, and patient presentation. Prehospital records for 34,585 patients were evaluated for i.v. placement and utilization in the field. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association of primary impression, systolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, Glasgow Coma Scale score, skin sign color, and capillary refill with placement and utilization. Intravenous catheters were placed in 60% of patients, but only 17% of the total was utilized. Examples of primary impressions with frequent initiation and low utilization (n = number in group, % of total with i.v. placed, % of total used): post-seizure (n = 989, 72%, 9%); weakness/dizzy/nausea (n = 3092, 69%, 20%), syncope/near-syncope (n = 2034, 81%, 26%), and abdominal pain (n = 1554, 70%, 14%). Fifty-eight percent with normal vital signs received an i.v. and 28–30% were utilized; hypotension: 80% received i.v. (odds ratio [OR] 1.211, p = 0.012), 70% utilized; hypertension: 61% received i.v. (OR 1.060, p = 0.027), 28% utilized; bradycardia: 82% received i.v. (OR 1.588, p < 0.0001), 51% utilized; tachycardia: 66% received i.v. (OR 1.152, p = 0.001), 33% utilized; bradypnea: 93% received i.v. (OR 1.638, p = 0.051), 86% utilized; tachypnea: 70% (OR 1.120, p = 0.024), 33% utilized. A Glasgow Coma Scale score < 15: 76% received i.v. (OR 1.672, p < 0.0001), 32% utilized. Abnormal skin color: 79% received i.v. (OR 1.691, p < 0.0001), 42% utilized. Certain primary impressions are associated with high i.v. initiation rates but infrequent utilization. High utilization rates were associated with hypotension, bradycardia, bradypnea, and abnormal skin signs. Study of high-frequency, low-utilization groups could reduce unnecessary i.v. placement.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a comment »