Impact and Safety Associated with Accidental Dislodgement of Vascular Access Devices: A Survey of Professions, Settings, and Devices



Dislodgement rates with intravenous catheters are reported at 1.8%-24% events per year resulting in failed access, interrupted treatment, and greater resource consumption with catheter replacement. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the perceptions of frequency, impact, contributing factors, and safety issues from accidental dislodgement affecting intravenous (IV) devices as reported by healthcare clinicians.


A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted via a voluntary online web-based survey of clinicians. Subjects were divided as those actively working in a clinical healthcare setting and those no longer active. Analysis of data was performed quantifying responses of clinicians on question of dislodgement.


Survey results indicate clinicians routinely observe a significant percentage of accidental dislodgement, with 68% of the 1561 respondents reporting often, daily, or multiple times daily occurrence and 96.5% identifying peripheral intravenous catheters as most common device experiencing accidental dislodgement. Respondents prioritized 10 contributing factors, with confused patient (80%), patient physically removes catheter (74%), and IV catheter tape or securement loose (65%) as the top 3 causes. Over 95% of respondents consider IV dislodgement a safety risk to patients.


This study reports perceptions and impact of accidental dislodgement with IV devices. Inconsistencies exist with use, application, and management of catheter securement and dressings for IV catheters. Risk of additional complications and complete device failure are increased when dislodgement occurs. Given possible complications, along with necessitating replacement of the IV device in many cases, IV catheter dislodgement was considered a safety risk to patients by nearly all respondents.

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