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Challenges Faced by Non-consultant Hospital Doctors in Paediatric Peripheral Intravenous Cannulation in Ireland


Peripheral intravenous cannulation (PIVC) in children is one of the most common procedures in acute care paediatrics. This can be difficult for experienced clinicians and daunting for those with limited paediatric experience. We aimed to evaluate the level of confidence of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) in PIVC and identify factors that impact on their level of confidence. This was a cross-sectional nationwide survey of NCHDs on the level of confidence in paediatric PIVC. Self-reported questionnaires explored clinical experience with PIVC, level of confidence, and potential factors impacting on confidence. Primary outcome was the level of confidence in PIVC. A survey response rate of 45% (202/450) was received from 12 Irish hospitals. Despite 89% (180/202) of NCHDs self-reporting average or above average success rates and 76% (155/202) having inserted ≥10 cannula within the preceding 3 months, self-reported confidence was low across the entire cohort. Only 48% (97/202) of NCHDs reported confidence scores >3 on 5-point scale and 37% (75/202) reported significant anxiety proceeding with PIVC. Level of confidence was increased with previous paediatric experience (p = 0.00004) and seniority of the doctor (p < 0.00001), whilst previous unsuccessful attempts by colleagues were strongly associated with decreased confidence (p = 0.009). Our study described the levels of confidence of NCHDs in PIVC. Although the experienced paediatric NCHDs are confident in PIVC, there still exists some degree of anxiety. These have implications for workforce educational planning and training to improve level of confidence which may lead to better patient care.

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We thank the NCHDs who distributed the questionnaires in the various hospitals. We also thank all NCHDs who participated in the survey.

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KM and EU contributed to conception and design, data acquisition and analysis. CA, AM, and CE contributed to acquisition of data. KM drafted the article. All authors critically revised the article and approved the final version to be published.

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Correspondence to Kene Maduemem.

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Maduemem, K., Umana, E., Adedokun, C. et al. Challenges Faced by Non-consultant Hospital Doctors in Paediatric Peripheral Intravenous Cannulation in Ireland. SN Compr. Clin. Med. 3, 1301–1306 (2021).

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