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Vessel health and preservation: get it right first time

27 July 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 14

The 11th National Infusion and Vascular Access (NIVAS) conference, held last month in London, was designed with a focus on vessel health and preservation (VHP).

Andrew Barton, Chair of NIVAS, began by stressing the importance of VHP, challenging our view on ‘how many attempts (at cannulation) is too many?’ and why it matters to vessel health. In line with this, Andrew gave an update about NIVAS campaigns and initiatives, including collaborative work with NHS Resolution's Safety and Learning Team on infiltration and extravasation; national antimicrobial intravenous-to-oral-switch (IVOS) criteria for early switch (UK Health Security Agency, 2023); Device Related Infection Prevention Practice (DRIPP) (Infection Prevention Society, 2023), and VHP (Moreau, 2019; Hallam et al, 2020).

It is noteworthy that, with this year's theme on VHP, the appropriate training and use of ultrasound and its value for successful cannulation – getting it right at the first attempt – was widely covered. There was an impressive talk by Emily Smith, vascular access lead, about her evaluation of ultrasound-guided long peripheral IV catheters (PIVCs) in patients with difficult intravenous access (DIVA), and Sean Warburton, anaesthetic registrar, shared his story about the transition of ultrasound-guided cannulation from best practice to becoming normal practice in his trust.

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