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  1. M vanRens1
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, Erasmus MC, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Intravenous therapy is the most common therapy in the neonatal intensive care unit. Regarding intravenous therapy, there are two major challenges: inserting the intravenous line and preventing intravenous complications. Insertion of an intravenous device in a neonate is a challenge on its own. More often several attempts are needed before intravenous devices are placed properly. There are aids to improved intravenous line insertion, for example transilluminators and ultrasound devices. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to use those aids optimally: keeping them in the right position and at the same time making an attempt to insert the vein or artery. Frequently seen common complications during or after these attempts are blood vessel and tissue damage.

Complications due to intravenous therapy can cause severe damage and necroses of (sub)cutaneous tissue. It is frequently seen and often accepted as unavoidable. An aetiological role is probably played by the administered fluids and medication and by the choice, usage and insertion of materials. That these complications increase the morbidity and in general are lengthening the stay in the neonatal intensive care unit is obvious.

Creating preconditions to insert intravenous devices accurately and to administer intravenous fluids adequately but also to recognise the complications as soon as possible is one of the responsibilities of the medical and nursing discipline. In our study we evaluated the method of using a unique three-dimensional camera for intravenous insertion of peripheral intravenous lines, peripherally inserted central catheters and peripheral arterial catheters but also we used the camera to check whether the intravenous line tip was still placed in the correct position while delivering intravenous therapy.

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