Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching And Research

Flushing and Blood Sampling


Vascular access devices have a pipe-like structure and to be functional, their internal volume must remain patent (open) to allow the free flow of fluids and blood in both directions. A number of strategies can be employed to maintain the patency and function of the device and the vessel it sits in. In addition to quality patient assessment and device selection there are various flushing, locking, infusion regimens.

The aim of these strategies is prevent occlusion and infection by reducing the risk of thrombus development, minimizing the build-up of biological or other substances within the device, or dissolving a diagnosed occlusion. However, actual practice and the evidence supporting this is variable.

Research conducted by AVATAR aims to increase understanding of the impact of the catheter on the vessel and blood physiology, to guide and inform mechanisms for vascular access device flushing, locking, medication, and infusion administration. Our findings will provide essential evidence to guide professional practice and improve patient outcomes.

Blood sampling

Blood testing to inform clinical decision making is vital, and strategies to minimise unnecessary sampling and associated infection risk or excessive blood loss are vital. In certain circumstances these may be drawn through vascular devices, but most are obtained by traditional needle draws.

Patients undergoing anaesthesia and requiring critical care often need an arterial catheter for frequent blood sampling through pressurised administration sets. However, blood sampling via these systems can result in blood wastage and contamination, which can lead to anaemia and infection.

AVATAR researchers are researching this clinical problem and plan trial research to evaluate the impact of closed blood sampling systems and blood sampling analysis.



Griffith University
Australia 4111