Phlebitis Signs and Symptoms with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: Incidence and Correlation Study

Gabor Mihala, Gillian Ray-Barruel, Vineet Chopra, Joan Webster, Marianne Wallis, Nicole Marsh, Matthew McGrail, Claire M. Rickard

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This study was undertaken to calculate the incidence of 8 signs and symptoms used for the diagnosis of phlebitis with peripheral intravenous catheters, or short peripheral catheters, and the level of correlation between them. A total of 22 789 daily observations of 6 signs (swelling, erythema, leakage, palpable venous cord, purulent discharge, and warmth) and 2 symptoms (pain and tenderness) were analyzed of 5907 catheter insertion sites. Most signs and symptoms of phlebitis occurred only occasionally or rarely; the incidence of tenderness was highest (5.7%). Correlations were mostly low; warmth correlated strongly with tenderness, swelling, and erythema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-263
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infusion Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • correlation of data
  • phlebitis
  • Spearman's rank correlation coefficient
  • vascular catheters

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