Management VAD complications


Intravenous literature: Schulmeister, L. (2010) Management of non-infectious central venous access device complications. Seminars in Oncology Nursing. 26(2), p.132-41.


OBJECTIVES: To review the central venous access device (VAD) complications of inadvertent device damage, device malfunction, and various causes of mechanical occlusion and to describe the limitations of VAD complication data.

DATA SOURCES: Journal articles, legal cases, case reports, manufacturers’ product information, personal experience.

CONCLUSION: The available data on VAD complications are difficult to interpret and apply in practice because of the many limitations of the studies that have been conducted (eg, single-institution, mixed patient populations, inconsistent measurement of complications). However, considerable information is known about the signs and symptoms of non-thrombotic, non-infectious VAD complications and their management.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Oncology nurses routinely use central VADs and are on the frontline for detecting VAD complications. Well-informed nurses can serve as patient advocates and help ensure that patients’ VADs are functional and safe to use.


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