The researchers say changing them only when needed would prevent millions of painful procedures and dramatically cut material and labor costs.
"Of the 200 million catheters estimated to be inserted each year in the U.S.A. alone, if even 15 percent are needed for more than three days, then a change to clinically required replacement would prevent up to 6 million unnecessary intravenous catheter insertions, and would save about 2 million hours of staff time, and up to US$60 million in health costs each year for that country alone," lead researcher Claire Rickard, from Griffith University in Australia, said in a journal news release.
For more on surgery safety, visit the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
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