Complication of vasopressor infusion through peripheral venous catheter: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Nov;38(11):2434-2443. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2020.09.047. Epub 2020 Sep 28.


BACKGROUND: Vasopressors are mainstay treatment for patients in shock and are usually infused through central venous catheters (CVCs). However, CVCs are associated with risk of infection or delay from the needs of confirmation of placement. Infusing vasopressor through peripheral venous catheter (PIVs) could be an alternative in the Emergency Departments (ED) but data regarding complications is inconclusive. We performed a random-effects meta-analysis to assess literature involving prevalence of complications from infusing vasopressors via PIVs.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMBASE and Scopus databases from beginnings to 02/02/2020 to identify relevant randomized control trials, cohort, case-control studies. We excluded case reports. Authors assessed studies' quality with Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Kappa score was used to assess interrater agreement. Outcome was complications as direct results from infusing vasopressors through PIVs.

RESULTS: We identified 325 articles and included 9 studies after reviewing 16 full text articles. Our analysis included 1835 patients whose mean age was 63 (Standard Deviation 12) years and 48% was female. There were 122 (7%) complications, of which 117 (96%) were minor. The meta-analysis with random effects showed the pooled prevalence of complications as 0.086 (95%CI 0.031-0.21). Studies reporting infusion safety guidelines had significantly lower prevalence of complications (0.029, 95%CI 0.018-0.045), compared to those not reporting a safety guideline (0.12, 95%CI 0.038-0.30, p = 0.024).

CONCLUSION: There was low prevalence of complications as a direct result from infusing vasopressors through PIVs. Studies with safety guidelines were associated with significantly lower prevalence of complications. Further studies are needed to confirm our observations.

PMID:33039229 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajem.2020.09.047

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