The importance of vascular access device selection: case study

Most hospitalised patients receive some form of vascular access during their hospital stay.1 With a variety of options of vascular access devices (VADs) to choose from, selecting the appropriate VAD is an important part of patient care. VAD selection should be tailored to each patient’s needs, taking into account the length of therapy, number of lumens required, flow rates required, need for blood draws, patient preference, and whether or not the patient will be discharged on therapy.2

One important VAD option is peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). Technological advances in PICCs over the last several years have introduced a variety of benefits that have resulted in their increased utilisation. PICCs can be utilised for both short- and long-term access to the central venous system. Clinicians have found many uses for PICCs including administration of intravenous therapy (such as antibiotics, total parenteral nutrition, and chemotherapy), power injection of contrast media, central venous pressure monitoring, and blood sampling.3 Interviews with Dr Fulvio Pinelli and nurse Noemí Cortes Ray were conducted to characterise two healthcare practitioners’ adoption of PICCs into their clinical practices and the resulting clinical and economic benefits associated with their use. 


Caroline Crowson


Hospital Healthcare Europe, July 2018


1 Helm RE et al. Accepted but unacceptable: Peripheral IV catheter failure. J Infus Nurs 2015;38(3):189–203.

2 Gorski L et al (eds). Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice. Vascular access device (VAD) selection and placement. J Infus Nurs 2016;39(1S):S51.

3 Bard Access Systems 2016. Instructions for Use: PowerPICC® Catheter.

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