To examine the ability of a unified metropolitan paramedic system to provide IV access in children when indicated.
Retrospective, descriptive clinical study.
A large metropolitan area in Canada.
Five hundred thirteen children from birth through 18 years of age who were transported by paramedics.
Indications for IV access, rates of successful placement, and time to achieve access were determined. Criteria for IV line placement were developed and applied retrospectively.
Intravenous line attempts were made in 300 children (58%). Intravenous line placement was obtained in 253 (84% of the patients attempted). One hundred fifty-nine children met criteria for IV placement in the field. Six of these children were clinically dead and received no on-scene resuscitative efforts and were excluded from data analysis. Of the remaining 153 children who met criteria, 122 (80%) had IV attempts made, and 104 (68%) had an IV line placed successfully. For children who met the criteria for IV placement, a significantly smaller proportion of children younger than 6 years had an IV line placed successfully (49%) compared with children 6 years or older (75%) (P