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Peripheral intravenous line - infants

 

Alternative Names

PIV - infants; Peripheral IV - infants; Peripheral line - infants

Information

A peripheral intravenous line (PIV) is a small, short plastic tube, called a catheter, that is placed through the skin into a vein, usually in the hand, arm, or foot, but occasionally in the scalp.

WHY IS A PIV USED?

A PIV is used to give fluids and medications to a baby.

HOW IS A PIV PLACED?

After the skin is cleaned, a small catheter with a needle inside is placed through the skin into the vein. Once it is in the proper position, the needle is removed and a plastic tube is connected to the catheter.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A PIV?

PIVs may be very difficult to place, especially if your baby is very chubby, very sick, or very small. In some cases, placement may not be successful, and another therapy is needed.

PIVs may fail after only 1 - 2 days. They may be changed from time to time to decrease the risk for infection.

If a PIV comes out of the vein and the fluid enters the tissue, the IV is said to have “infiltrated.” This can cause the skin and tissue to get very irritated, occasionally causing a tissue burn. Medications are available to reduce the risk of long-term skin damage.


Review Date: 12/18/2009
Reviewed By: Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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