Better Barriers and Standardized Protocols: Improving UGPIV Safety

by Nancy Moureau, RN, PhD, CRNI, CPUI, VA-BC

Moureau, N. (2019, October 8). Better barriers and standardized protocols: Improving UGPIV safety. Infection Control Today. Retrieved from

Comments by Leigh Ann Bowe-Geddes: The use of ultrasound guidance for insertion of peripheral intravenous catheters continues to increase markedly as the number of patients with difficult venous access grows. In this article Dr. Moureau discusses concerns about proper cleaning and disinfection of ultrasound transducers between uses, and the use of sterile probe covers and gel for the prevention of transmission of pathogens during UGPIV insertion.

Insertion of a peripheral intravenous (PIV) catheter is the most commonly performed invasive medical procedure in acute care. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of hospitalized patients require peripheral IV access for the administration of medications, fluids, blood products, and/or nutrition.

Unfortunately, nearly 60 percent of those patients are considered to have difficult intravenous access. These patients can make PIV insertions challenging for even the most skilled clinician. Difficult access is caused by a variety of factors including aging veins, repeated cannulations, irritating medications, as well as obesity, IV drug use, and chronic conditions like diabetes and cancer. The high number of patients with difficult access has increased the use of ultrasound guidance to achieve successful PIV placement. It is estimated…..

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