Vein cannulation success rates by German paramedics: a single-centre study

Introduction: Gaining intravenous (IV) access is vulnerable to errors and failure, and this study analysed IV procedures by paramedics in the federal state of Hesse in Germany to examine these. Methods: This was a single-centre, observational, pilot study survey on gaining vascular access. As well as identifying the success and failure rate of IV attempts, factors associated with a higher risk of failure were analysed using logistic regression, Χ<sup>2</sup> or Fisher's exact test. Results: A total of 207 vascular access attempts were included in the analysis, of which 90.34% were successful. Significantly associated with higher risk of failure were patients' age (OR 1.05; 95% (CI 1.02–1.10); p=0.041), or when two (OR 3.94; 95% CI (2.39–6.20); p≤0.001) or more than three attempts (OR: 3.26 [95% CI: 1.35; 5.17]; p=0.003) were needed rather than one. In contrast, risk of failure was significantly lower when patients indicate a good (OR 0.02; 95% CI (0.00–0.15); p≤0.001) or moderate (OR 0.04 (95% CI 0.01–0.17); p≤0.001) vein status compared to a bad vein status. Failure rates were higher when paramedics were working a night shift (OR 0.06; 95% CI (0.00–0.98); p=0.005) rather then during the day. Conclusion: A proportion of IV access attempts by paramedics are unsuccessful and, if paramedics are to provide invasive interventions, non-IV options for drug administration should be available.

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