Introducing the Ward Phlebitis Scoring Chart 2018: A reflective and personal practical review and approach

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Introducing the Ward Phlebitis Scoring Chart 2018: A reflective and personal practical review and approach
A. Ward
Published in:
October 2018
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In our edition of: Feb 2019
In our categories of: practice management

our summary:

Ward, A. (2018) Introducing the Ward Phlebitis Scoring Chart 2018: A reflective and personal practical review and approach. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 33 (11), pp. 313-318

The author of this article discusses the development of a care plan for IV catheters to ensure a holistic experience for the veterinary patient. This is then developed into a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for IV Catheter Nursing Care, which incorporates both a patency check every four hours and a phlebitis check every 12 hours.

The phlebitis check incorporates the Ward Phlebitis Scoring Chart (WPSC) 2018, which the author has developed from an NHS model to provide a usable tool for use in a veterinary clinic. The WPSC works on a subjective scoring system of 0 to 4, based on observations of the IV site and of the patient’s overall state of health and wellbeing:

  • score 0 indicates the IV site appears healthy and shows no signs of phlebitis;
  • score 1 indicates possible first signs of phlebitis;
  • score 2 indicates the IV site is showing signs of swelling and pain. Re-siting of the catheter is required;
  • score 3 indicates the IV site is showing signs of irritation, pain, redness and swelling. Re-siting of the catheter is required and treatment should be considered;
  • score 4 indicates the IV site is showing advanced stages of thrombophlebitis requiring treatment. Re-siting of the catheter is required.Photographs are used throughout to illustrate the points discussed.
Take Home

The ideas and tools discussed in this article could prove to be very effective in clinical practice in helping to reduce the incidence of phlebitis. Veterinary practices may want to introduce use of the scoring chart into their procedures and then carry out an audit on the occurrence of phlebitis and, as appropriate, adopt suitable measures to reduce the rate/severity of episodes.

Image copyright attribute: Илья Бурдун

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