Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Vascular Access Devices Defined

  • Vascular Access Devices (VADs) are a common and important part of clinical practice for the administration of parenteral fluids, nutrients, medications and blood products.
  • VADs provide a route to monitor the hemodynamic status of a client.
  • The desired clinical goal is positive client outcomes as evidenced by completion of therapy, absence of complications and client satisfaction with care delivery.
  • The clinical focus is on the prevention of complications; however if complications develop, nurses must recognize, report, and intervene appropriately for positive client outcomes.
  • A nursing assessment of risk factors, device selection, and catheter maintenance to minimize complications is a critical factor to client recovery and survival.
Clinical Management
Care and Maintenance to Reduce Vascular Access Complications
Background Information