Children’s Health Queensland clinicians, in collaboration with Griffith University and the University of Michigan, have created the world’s first paediatric appropriateness guidelines for intravenous access devices.

The evidence-based Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters in Paediatrics provides appropriate and safe criteria for vascular access devices across a range of clinical indications in paediatric healthcare, with the aim of preserving vessels and minimising harm to young patients.

CHQ nurse practitioner Tricia Kleidon and paediatric surgeon Associate Professor Craig McBride (both pictured) provided their expertise as members of a panel of paediatric experts from leading Australian and US hospitals and universities who developed the evidence-based guide.

Ms Kleidon said most children treated in hospital needed a vascular access device to receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics, or other medicines but choosing the best device could sometimes be challenging for clinicians.

“The wide range of intravenous devices available for short and long-term treatment really adds to the complexities of paediatric healthcare. It’s so important to select the best option for each patient to avoid complications like infection, pain, or delayed treatment,” Ms Kleidon said.

“Inserting a catheter that is not appropriate for the planned treatment can make the process very distressing for a young child. It can also cause permanent vessel damage, limiting the options for future treatments into adulthood.

“We hope these recommendations will help clinicians choose the right intravenous device for all children, and ultimately reduce device-related complications for sick kids.”

The study, funded by Griffith University, the University of Michigan and the Association for Vascular Access Foundation, has been published as a standalone supplement in a leading paediatric medical journal Pediatrics.