Vascular Access Specialist Teams

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 24 September 2021
Vascular Access Specialist Teams
The insertion of a vascular access device (VAD) is one of the most common invasive procedures performed in the hospital setting, however a number of factors across adult and paediatric populations including age, weight extremes, comorbidities, previous difficult intravenous access, and site selection for current VAD can significantly impact overall insertion success and maintenance of a device.1,2   Dedicated vascular access teams are made up of competent clinicians trained to maxi...
Posted in:insertionvascular access devicesspecialist teams  

Essentials of Needleless Connector Care

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald and Gillian Ray-Barruel on 23 September 2021
Essentials of Needleless Connector Care
Introduced in the 1990s, needleless connectors have become an essential component of 21st century medical care, as they have removed the inherent needle stick injury risk associated with older needle-based connectors.1 Used on both central and peripheral vascular access devices, they allow for the safer administration of medication, fluid and blood.2 However, needleless connectors carry a significantly increased risk of bloodstream infection. If the injection site has not been properly ...
Posted in:infection preventionneedleless connectorcatheter-associated bloodstream infection  

Central line bloodstream infections: CLABSI or CRBSI?

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 21 September 2021
Central line bloodstream infections: CLABSI or CRBSI?
Central venous access devices (CVADs) are an essential component of contemporary medical care, allowing for incompatible medications to be administered simultaneously and reduce the need for peripheral vascular access, particularly for critically ill or oncology patients.1 However, CVADs can entail significant risk. Bloodstream infection is the most detrimental consequence of inadequate CVAD management, presenting a significant burden to the patient, staff and economy of a hospital, especial...
Posted in:central vascular access devicescatheter-associated bloodstream infection  

PIVCs in Neonates: Caution advised!

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 20 September 2021
PIVCs in Neonates: Caution advised!
Peripheral intravenous cannulation (PIVC) is commonplace in the neonatal setting, particularly in premature and critically unwell neonates who are unable to regulate homeostatic balance.1 Cannulation of a neonate can be difficult, given the significantly smaller venous anatomy and compromised skin integrity which can lead to localised toxicity and inflammation.2 Failure rates can be high, with 95% of PIVCs being removed due to complications including occlusion, leaking and extravasation inju...
Posted in:peripheral intravenous catheterassessmentneonate  

Tips for PIVC Location and Size

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 19 August 2021
Of the 11 million Australians accessing care in a hospital each year, an estimated 7.7 million will receive a peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC), also called a cannula, meaning this procedure is commonplace, particularly in the emergency department.(1) Although this is such a common procedure, first-attempt failure rates are high, with an estimated 40% failure rate in adults and 65% in the paediatric population.(1) All clinicians who are cannulation competent must be abl...
Posted in:peripheral intravenous cathetercannulapatient experienceIV insertionvessel health  

Why catheter-to-vein ratio matters!

Posted by Gillian Ray-Barruel on 19 August 2021
Did you know that certain catheter-to-vein (CVR) ratios can have twice the risk of thrombosis in patients with cancer? Dr Rebecca Sharp from the University of South Australia (UniSA) and Australian Vascular Access Society has published a study in BMJ Open that analysed the outcomes of more than 2400 patients from 4 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand who received a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC). The study found that up to 6% of patients with cancer who had received chemo...
Posted in:catheter failurecentral vascular access devicesPICCultrasoundevidence-based practice  

Making it stick! A recap of VAD securement

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 26 July 2021
Being aware of appropriate securement techniques is essential when caring for a vascular access device (VAD). Whether arterial or venous, when a VAD dislodges, it becomes useless, which can lead to delayed treatment and prolonged hospital admission.1 As such, clinicians need to understand the importance of securement techniques that can prevent dislodgement and the subsequent possible complications.2 Suture-less securement devices are commonplace in hospital settings, seen most commonly i...
Posted in:dressingsIV managementsecurementvascular access devices  

PIVCs in the Emergency Department

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 15 July 2021
PIVCs in the Emergency Department
The emergency department is a fast-paced, hectic and often unpredictable environment. In the 2019-2020 financial year, Australian EDs treated 8,236,159 patients, reviewing an average of 22,600 patients per day (1). Often working under duress and having to make clinical decisions within a very narrow timeframe, ED clinicians must quickly identify what a critically unwell patient needs in order to be stabilised (2,3). Achieving vascular access usually means urgent insertion of a peripheral ...
Posted in:peripheral intravenous catheterinfection preventioninsertionvascular access devices  

Can I draw blood from a PIVC?

Posted by Lizzy Ostwald on 7 July 2021
Can I draw blood from a PIVC?
Drawing blood from a cannula is a routine practice in some clinical environments. But is this best practice or will the blood become too haemolysed to provide accurate results? Drawing blood from a peripheral intravenous catheter/cannula (PIVC) is a routine practice in clinical environments such as the emergency department, rationalised as one less invasive test that a patient is subjected to. A PIVC should never be inserted just to draw blood or 'just in case' it's needed late...
Posted in:peripheral intravenous catheterblood samplingvenepuncture  


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