The IVCare adaptive platform trial: Towards zero bloodstream infections in IV catheters

Thirty-five per cent of healthcare associated bloodstream infections (BSIs) in Australian hospitals are caused by intravenous (IV) therapy via IV catheters. These ‘catheter associated BSI’ (CABSI) prolong hospital length of stay, increase healthcare costs and risk of death. CABSI prevention may benefit from the numerous commercial products and clinical practices that exist, but few have been formally studied.

To test the large number of potential solutions using traditional simple, parallel randomised controlled trials (RCTs) would be expensive and slow the progress of knowledge generation and translation.

To address this, building on previous large-scale, multicentre RCTs, we will establish an innovative experimental platform, with a core dataset co-designed by clinicians and consumers. This adaptive RCT will rapidly evaluate numerous interventions to identify clinical and cost-effective strategies that prevent IV therapy-related harm.

We will establish a world-first adaptive platform RCT for IV therapy, and the first of this design in nursing. Given its priority to consumers and clinicians, the initial focus will be CABSI prevention - testing interventions across 3 infection prevention domains. 

Project aims:

  1. Prevent bloodstream entry of microorganisms through the catheter insertion site.

  2. Prevent bloodstream entry of microorganisms through the internal catheter lumen.

  3. Prevent bloodstream entry of microorganisms by improved catheter stewardship.

Contact: Prof Claire Rickard,

Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council


Griffith University
Australia 4111