Background: Extravasation injury resulting from intravenous therapies delivered via peripheral intravenous catheters or umbilical and peripherally inserted central venous catheters is a common iatrogenic complication occurring in neonatal intensive care units. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an evidence-based clinical practice guideline in the prevention and management of neonatal extravasation injury by nurses.
Methods: A controlled before-and-after study was conducted in a neonatal unit. The clinical practice guideline was developed, and a multifaceted educational program was delivered to nurses. Neonatal outcomes, including the rates of peripheral intravenous extravasation and extravasation from a central line, were collected at the pre- and post-intervention periods. Post-intervention data for nurses, including the nurses’ level of knowledge and adherence, were collected at six months after the program.
Results: 104 and 109 neonates were recruited in the pre-intervention period (control) and the post-intervention period (intervention), respectively. The extravasation rate before and after the intervention was 14.04 and 2.90 per 1,000 peripheral intravenous catheters days, respectively. The adjusted odds ratio of peripheral intravenous extravasation post-intervention compared with that of pre-intervention was 0.20 (95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.74; p = 0.02) after adjusting for peripheral intravenous catheter days. The extravasation from a central line rate of the control and intervention groups post-intervention was 4.94 and zero per 1,000 central venous catheter days, respectively. Fifty-nine registered nurses were recruited. At six months post-program, there were significant improvements in the nurses’ level of knowledge and adherence.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the implementation of an evidence-based clinical practice guideline significantly reduced the rate of peripheral intravenous extravasation and extravasation from a central line in neonates. However, to maintain nurses’ knowledge and adherence to the evidence-based practice, the educational program will have to be conducted periodically and incorporated into the nurses’ induction program.