Aim and objectives: The aim of this paper was to review published manuscripts on the use of midline catheters, the implications of study findings and recommendations for clinical practice in the acute care setting.
Design: Modified integrative literature review
Methods: Using key MeSH terms, we searched the electronic databases: CINAHL, Medline, and Embase. The Cochrane and Joanna Briggs databases, Google Search Engine and the reference lists of published materials were also searched. Studies were included if they were in the English language and reported the use of midline catheters in adult acute care populations. Manuscripts that described midlines made of aquavene were excluded
Results: Two hundred and thirty two (232) papers were identified using the search strategy. From these identified papers, thirty (30) were included in the final review. Thematic analysis identified three major themes. These included: (i) advantages of using midline catheters (ii) disadvantages of using midline catheters (iii) insertion and management issues.
Conclusion: Midline catheters have both positive and negative implications for clinical practice. They can be used for extended periods of intravenous therapy without requiring repeated cannulations but are not without risk. Midline catheters have been associated with mechanical and chemical phlebitis along with intravascular thrombosis. As such they are not suitable across the entire adult acute population. Midline catheters reduce the number of repeated cannulations which reduces patient discomfort, increases patient satisfaction and also contributes to organisational efficiency.