A Comparison in Newborns of the In Situ Duration, Phlebitis and Daily Needle Cost of Scalp Intravenous using Steel Needles vs. Intravenous Catheters

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Sukalya Khunkitti
Supaporn Deeprasai


Background: Two  kinds of  needles  used  for  peripheral (scalp)   intravenous   therapy  in  newborns ; the

steel  needle  and   the   intravenous  catheter  (a  plastic   needle).  Most  nurses  prefer  using     intravenous

catheters because  they  believe  that the in situ duration is better than steel needles. However,  many studies

indicate intravenous catheters have a higher phlebitic rate and cost more than steel needles.

Objective: To compare the  in situ duration,   phlebitic  rate and  needle  cost  per day  of  peripheral  (scalp)

Intravenous  therapy in newborns using steel needles vs. intravenous catheters.

Design: Quasi-experimental research.

Setting: Neonatal unit (Ward 2C), Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University.

Intervention: Between September 1999  and August  2000,  neonates  requiring  scalp intravenous  injections

were randomly assigned to receive it via a steel needle (n = 51) or an intravenous catheter (n = 47).

Measurements: In situ duration, phlebitic rate and daily  needle  cost.

Results: No  significant  difference  was found  in  the in situ duration  and  phlebitic  rate of the  steel  needle

vs. the  intravenous  catheter  on  the scalp   of   newborns.    The  daily  needle  cost  of  steel   needles   was

significantly  lower than  intravenous  catheters (P<0.001).

Conclusion: The  steel  needle on the scalp  of  newborns  is  as effective   as   the intravenous  catheter  in

maintaining in situ duration and preventing phlebitis. However, the difference in the daily needle cost indicates that the use of steel needles should be recommended.


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