Improving vascular access care for cancer patients

Ms Nicole Gavin1,2,3, Ms Rebecca Lippiatt1, Ms Sarah Northfield1, Ms Margarette Somerville1, Ms Emily Larsen1,2, Ms Nicole Marsh1,2, Professor Claire Rickard1,2

1Royal Brisbane And Women’s Hospital, Herston, QLD, Australia
2Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia
3Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia


Introduction: Central venous access device (CVAD) registries provide clinicians with data about device-related complications and patient outcomes. Our registry collects information about the patients requiring CVADs within Cancer Care Services (CCS), type of CVADs being inserted, complications and reasons for removal. The CVAD Registry captures data to identify variances and trends in the quality of CVAD care provided.

Method: The CCS CVAD Registry has captured information on all adult cancer patients who received a CVAD from 1st April 2016 at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Results: Currently we have 729 patients (421 haematology and bone marrow transplant, 297 oncology, 7 surgical, 3 medical and 1 renal) in our CVAD Registry with 1,160 CVADs.
Less than half of our patients (44.5%) completed their treatment with one CVAD. A quarter of patients had their CVAD removed due to suspected infection (26.6%), local infection (2.2%), CVAD-related thrombosis (4.4%), occlusion (3.5%), accidental dislodgement (5.5%), CVAD migration (1.8%), CVAD rupture or fracture (0.8%) and infiltration or extravasation (0.2%).

Conclusion: Our CVAD Registry has provided the hospital with CVAD failure data, both mechanical and infective. This knowledge has empowered clinicians, researchers, educators, safety and quality officers to drive quality improvement initiatives. This data has led to the Improving Vascular Access Care in Cancer Care study which has conducted a point prevalence survey in February 2018 and four months of targeted education to improve hand hygiene, aseptic non-touch technique, site inspection, catheter maintenance/occlusion management and documentation from March to June 2018.


Nicole Gavin is a Nurse Researcher in Cancer Care at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Her research focuses primarily on vascular access devices and infection control.

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