Infusion therapy is now an integral part of the majority of nurses' professional practice (RCN, 2006). Infusion therapy is no longer confined to secondary care, and home intravenous therapy is becoming more commonplace (Keyley, 2002). As nurses, we are responsible for maintaining our skills and knowledge in relation to all aspects of patient care (RCN, 2006). This article provides an overview of the types of vascular access devices used in primary care, and provides guidance and recommendations to ensure best practice. Although there are many complications associated with vascular access devices (Docherty, 2006) this article will focus on the prevention of infection and maintainace of catheter patency in vascular access devices. Infection is one of the most serious complications that can result from the presence and use of a central venous catheter (Humar et al. 2000), however careful management of these devices can minimize the complications associated with infusion therapy.
- Catheters, Indwelling*/adverse effects
- Equipment Design
- Home Care Services*