Post-injection thrombophlebitis in patients undergoing peripheral IV catheterization in a tertiary care hospital: incidence and risk factors


  • Pranjal Rai Department of General Surgery, HBT Medical College and Dr. R. N. Cooper Hospital, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Vinaykumar Thati Department of General Surgery, HBT Medical College and Dr. R. N. Cooper Hospital, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Geeta Ghag Department of General Surgery, HBT Medical College and Dr. R. N. Cooper Hospital, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Vipul Nandu Department of General Surgery, HBT Medical College and Dr. R. N. Cooper Hospital, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra



Thrombophlebitis, Peripheral venous thrombosis, IV cannula, Infusion thrombophlebitis


Background: Intravenous catheters cause endothelial damage and trauma, which can predispose to venous thrombosis. Peripheral vein infusion thrombophlebitis occurs in 25- 35% of hospitalized patients with intravenous catheters and has both patient-related implications (e.g., sepsis) and economic consequences (e.g., extra nursing time). This study is designed to address this issue, by assessing the potential risk factors in those who have developed phlebitis, and deriving conclusions based on the same.

Methods: A total of 830 patients were observed over a period of 2 months. All details of the patient were collected. Thrombophlebitis was graded using Visual Infusion Phlebitis Score. Each case was compared with a matching control.  

Results: 53 of 830 patients observed, developed thrombophlebitis giving an incidence of 6.4%. 92.5% had IV cannulation flushed after insertion. IV cannula had to be changed at least 2 times during the hospital stay. All had an average IV cannulation for 5 days. All had insertion of same size cannula (20G). Level 1 Phlebitis was identified in 64.15% patients, level 2 Phlebitis in 33.96% patients and Level 3 Phlebitis was seen 1.88% patients.

Conclusions: Significant association was noted between the number of times the catheter was changed since admission and administration of Potassium chloride and Certain Medications such as Piperacillin through the cannula.


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