Vascular access device management

Vascular access devices include:

  • intravascular devices inserted into peripheral veins
  • peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVC)
  • peripheral arterial devices
  • central venous catheters
  • peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC lines)
  • other specialist intravenous catheters e.g neonatal.

Vascular access devices are used for administration of fluids, blood products and medications; and can permit monitoring of haemodynamic function, dialysis and collecting of blood specimens (where appropriate).

Vascular access devices can be associated with healthcare associated infectionsuch as local site infections or, more seriously, blood stream infections (BSI). BSIs can cause patient mortality, morbidity, and prolonged hospitalisation.

It is a SA Health requirement that SA Health healthcare facilities are compliant with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. This includes the safe insertion and management of invasive medical devices.

Further information regarding best practice guidelines is available via the links below:

National resources

SA Health Resources

Note: the SA Health Peripherally Intravenous Cannula (PIVC) Infection Prevention Clinical Directive and SA Health Peripheral Intravenous Assessment Score (PIVAS) have been temporarily removed while under review. Refer to national resources as above.

Local Health Network

  • Refer to local organisational wide instructions, policies and procedures.

Patient information

It is a requirement of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards that health service organisations maintain systems to partner with comsumers. Partnering with consumers recognises that importance of involving patients in their own care and provide clear communications to patients.

For information how patients can prevent infections if they go home with a PICC, refer to the following brochures and fact sheets:

National resources:

SA Health resources:

Local Health Network resources:

  • Refer to your healthcare provider regarding local resources for patients/consumers.

Further information

For further information, contact your Local Health Network Infection Prevention and Control Unit, healthcare provider or SA Health's Infection Control Service.