Skin Glue Reduces the Failure Rate of Emergency Department-Inserted Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Aug;68(2):196-201. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2015.11.026. Epub 2015 Dec 31.


Study objective: Peripheral intravenous catheters are the most common invasive device in health care yet have very high failure rates. We investigate whether the failure rate could be reduced by the addition of skin glue to standard peripheral intravenous catheter care.

Methods: We conducted a single-site, 2-arm, nonblinded, randomized, controlled trial of 380 peripheral intravenous catheters inserted into 360 adult patients. The standard care group received standard securement. The skin glue group received standard securement plus cyanoacrylate skin glue applied to the skin insertion site. The primary outcome was peripheral intravenous catheter failure at 48 hours, regardless of cause. Secondary outcomes were the individual modes of peripheral intravenous catheter failure: infection, phlebitis, occlusion, or dislodgement.

Results: Peripheral intravenous catheter failure was 10% lower (95% confidence interval -18% to -2%; P=.02) with skin glue (17%) than standard care (27%), and dislodgement was 7% lower (95% confidence interval -13% to 0%; P=.04). Phlebitis and occlusion were less with skin glue but were not statistically significant. There were no infections.

Conclusion: This study supports the use of skin glue in addition to standard care to reduce peripheral intravenous catheter failure rates for adult emergency department patients admitted to the hospital.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / instrumentation*
  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surgical Tape
  • Tissue Adhesives*


  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Tissue Adhesives

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12612001212842