Vein measurement by peripherally inserted central catheter nurses using ultrasound: A reliability study

Rebecca Sharp, Andrea Gordon, Antonina Mikocka-Walus, Jessie Childs, Carol Grech, Melita Cummings, Adrian Esterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are increasingly inserted by trained registered nurses, necessitating the development of specialized skills such as the use of ultrasound. The selection of an adequately sized vein is an important factor in reducing adverse events such as deep vein thrombosis. However, PICC nurses may receive minimal training in the use of ultrasound for vein measurement. Objective We aimed to demonstrate the reliability of a vein measurement protocol using ultrasound by a PICC nurse trained in sonography. Methods The diameter of the basilic, brachial, and cephalic veins in the left arms of healthy participants (n = 12) were measured using ultrasound by a PICC nurse and a sonographer. A PICC nurse performed the measurement twice and the sonographer once; the PICC nurse's results were compared for intra-rater reliability and compared with the sonographer for inter-rater reliability. The results were analyzed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Results Inter-rater reliability between the PICC nurse and the sonographer was adequate, the ICC for the brachial vein was 0.60 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06-0.87), basilic vein ICC was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.58-0.96) and cephalic vein ICC was 0.77 (95% CI, 0.39-0.93). Intra-rater reliability of the PICC nurse was higher; the ICC for the brachial vein was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.44-0.94), basilic vein ICC was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.67-0.98), and cephalic vein ICC was 0.78 (95% CI, 0.40-0.93). Conclusions Using a suitable protocol, a PICC nurse was able to measure vein diameter reliably when compared with a sonographer and consistently replicate these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-238
Number of pages5
JournalJAVA - Journal of the Association for Vascular Access
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Keywords

  • peripherally inserted central catheter
  • ultrasound
  • vein measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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