Selection and management of central venous access devices
Intended for healthcare professionals

Selection and management of central venous access devices

Christopher Stephen Clare Staff Nurse, Southmead Hospital, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the use and management of central venous access devices

  • To learn how to prevent and address immediate and long-term device complications

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Vascular access is an important aspect of patient care and management in all areas of healthcare. Safe, efficient and reliable venous access may require a central venous access device (CVAD), which can be used in primary and secondary care settings. Nurses may assist in device selection and be involved in their ongoing management, which includes recognising and addressing device complications. The appropriate choice of CVAD and early recognition of potential issues can improve the reliability and longevity of these devices and reduce the risk of long-term complications. This article describes the types of CVAD and their indications for use. It also outlines the management of CVADs, focusing on three areas: complications during insertion; infection prevention and control; and complications that may arise during the ongoing care of these devices.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11559

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared


Clare CS (2020) Selection and management of central venous access devices. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11559

Published online: 21 July 2020

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