Managing CVADs in 2020
There is no doubt that 2020 has brought immeasurable change to health care across the world as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all think about how we provide every aspect of medicine. As IV access practitioners, we have had to very quickly consider how we could continue to provide safe IV therapy and device care, particularly for patients with long-term central venous access devices (CVADs).
Patients who have a long-term CVADs are by their very nature among the most vulnerable groups. Continuing to safely manage these patients and their IV access devices throughout the pandemic has been challenging. Patients were initially told to stay out of hospital for all but emergencies, and there was a lot of fear about attending hospital because it was often depicted in the media as a war zone-type of environment.
By the nature of their condition, the vast majority of patients with a CVAD would also have been told to completely shield, with hospital appointments eliminated or carried out virtually for anything but absolutely essential visits. However, managing a CVAD is a practical task requiring hands-on regular intervention, so individual plans for looking after each patient had to quickly be established.
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