Techniques and Technologies to Improve Peripheral Intravenous Catheter Outcomes in Pediatric Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Hosp Med. 2021 Dec;16(12):742-750. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3718.


Objective: Insertion and function of pediatric peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVCs) present challenges. We systematically reviewed techniques and technologies to improve PIVC outcomes (first-time insertion success, overall insertion success, time to insertion, dwell time, failure, and complications).

Data sources: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CONTROL), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), US National Library of Medicine, and Embase.

Study selection: English-language pediatric trials published post 2010 reporting PIVC outcomes.

Data extraction: Following Cochrane standards, two authors screened, extracted, and critiqued study quality (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach) data, random effects analysis, results expressed as risk ratios (RR), mean differences (MD) and 95% CIs.

Results: Twenty-one studies (3237 children; 3098 PIVCs) were included. First-time insertion success significantly increased with ultrasound guidance (compared with landmark insertion; RR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.02-2.50). Use of ultrasound guidance (compared with landmark insertion) did not improve overall PIVC insertion success (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.94-1.28). There was no evidence of an effect of near-infrared (compared with landmark) on first-time insertion success (RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.91-1.59) or number of attempts (MD, -0.65; 95% CI, -1.59 to 0.29); however, it significantly reduced PIVC insertion time (MD, -132.47; 95% CI, -166.68 to -98.26) and increased first-time insertion success in subgroup analysis of patients with difficult intravenous access (RR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.02-7.24).

Limitations: Few studies per intervention, small sample sizes, and inconsistent outcome measures precluded definitive conclusions.

Conclusions: Ultrasound and near-infrared appear to improve pediatric PIVC insertion. High-quality studies examining the full extent of techniques and technologies are needed. Registration: CRD42020175314.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Peripheral* / adverse effects
  • Catheters
  • Child
  • Humans
  • United States