Q: We have been discussing what we can do as a team to decrease rates of central catheter infection in our intensive care unit. I have been practicing for 13 years and have always been taught that when you place a central catheter, you should also change all of your tubings/intravenous fluids at that time. Nurses should not remove the fluids from a peripheral catheter and place that into the new central catheter site. What does the literature support?

A: Douglas Houghton, MSN, ACNPC, CCRN, replies:

Thank you for raising this important topic. To answer your question directly, the evidence is insufficient to support or refute moving intravenous tubing from a peripheral intravenous catheter to a central venous catheter upon new insertion. Nurses should follow their current institutional policies on this matter until further evidence becomes available. However, I will offer my opinion...

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