This study involves investigating possible treatment regime alternatives that can assist maintaining the patency of peripheral venous catheters (PVCs). It is a two arm, parallel group, superiority randomized trial: one high frequency (flushing minimum four to six hourly) and one low frequency (flushing minimum every 24 hours). The trial will be undertaken on surgical wards at a major Queensland public hospital where patients will be recruited prospectively. Those who are scheduled to have a PVC inserted will be invited to participate. It will provide preliminary evidence for the efficacy of two different flushing regimes (high versus low frequency).
The current standard of flushing practices is not known and this appears to be reflected though the variation in guidelines between separate organisations. Current comparisons of continuous infusion versus intermittent flushes to maintain PVC patency are inconclusive. There are contradictory findings and associated methodological issues. There are no studies comparing different flushing regimes such as regular flushing versus those administered pro re nata (PRN) nor are there any that compare practice associated with preparation and administration of manually prepared flushes against pre-filled flushes.