Improved Patient Safety and Quality Outcomes With Amiodarone Infusions.


BACKGROUND: Amiodarone is a common intravenous medication and a known irritant to the vessel wall when administered peripherally.

LOCAL PROBLEM: Nurses identified an increase in phlebitis associated with peripheral amiodarone leading to multiple catheter replacements and interruptions in drug therapy. Central venous access is recommended by the manufacturer but not practical for a short-term infusion based on the risk to the patient, time, and cost.

METHODS: A 4-phased approach was used to identify a more suitable peripheral intravenous catheter.

INTERVENTIONS: A collaborative effort between bedside nurses and the vascular access team evolved to look at alternative products for peripheral intravenous catheters.

RESULTS: The extended dwell peripheral catheter decreased phlebitis from 54% to 5%. It also decreased interruptions in drug therapy and improved patient comfort and satisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS: A practice change was implemented utilizing extended dwell peripheral catheters for intravenous amiodarone and disseminated to other units.

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Journal of nursing care quality

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