Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Assessment and Device Selection Algorithm

Is peripheral access possible? 

  1. Yes
  2. No



+ Infusate criteria for use in peripheral infusions:

  • Osmolality must be less than 500 mOsm/L.
  • The pH must be between 5 and 9.
  • The medication must not be a vesicant or irritant.

++ Catheter lumens:

  • Consider the need for single or multi-lumen catheter to deliver the prescribed therapy.
  • Select the least number of lumens to deliver the required therapy.

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+++ Considerations for subcutaneous infusions include:

  • Hydration, intermittent infusions, and continuous infusions of isotonic fluids and a few selected medications.
  • Assessing for this mode of therapy with some client populations.

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