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Intravenous Catheterization

Intravenous catheterization (I.V. catheter) is required for most patients in the intensive care unit. The small plastic catheter tube is inserted into a vein and either attached to a bag of intravenous fluid or "capped" and not attached to any fluids. Once secured, I.V. catheters are used to administer medicines, fluids, and transfusions. Complications of these catheters include phlebitis (clotting and infection of the vein) and cellulitis (skin infection).

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