Intravenous therapy: a review of complications and economic considerations of peripheral access

J Infus Nurs. Mar-Apr 2012;35(2):84-91. doi: 10.1097/NAN.0b013e31824237ce.


Despite the growing frequency of intravenous (IV) injections, establishing peripheral IV access is challenging, particularly in patients with small or collapsed veins. Therefore, patients often endure failed attempts and eventually become venous depleted. Furthermore, maintaining patients' vascular access throughout treatment is difficult because a number of complications including phlebitis, infiltration, extravasation, and infections can occur. The aim of this article is to review the use of the IV route for administering therapy, identify and analyze key risks and complications associated with achieving and maintaining peripheral IV access, examine measures to reduce these risks, and discuss implications for nurses in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / economics
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / nursing
  • Catheters, Indwelling
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / adverse effects*
  • Infusions, Intravenous / economics
  • Infusions, Intravenous / nursing
  • Thrombophlebitis / etiology
  • United States