Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Timing of VAD Dressing Changes

  • Dressing changes using aseptic technique should be completed every 48 hours for gauze and every seven days for TSM dressings or sooner if contaminated, non-adherent, damp, loose, or visibly soiled.
  • For accessed implanted VAD, the non-coring needle is replaced every five to seven days, in concert with the dressing change.
  • Sterile gauze under a transparent dressing is considered a gauze dressing and should be changed at a minimum of every 48 hours.
  • For newly inserted CVAD, dressings should be changed 24 hours post insertion.
  • Tunneled vascular access devices that are well healed may not require a dressing.
  • Implanted vascular access devices, which are healed and not accessed, do not require a dressing. If the device is accessed, a sterile transparent semi-permeable dressing should be applied.
Clinical Management
Care and Maintenance to Reduce Vascular Access Complications
Point of Care Resources