Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Vascular Access Device (VAD) Defined

  • A catheter (thin tube) inserted into central or peripheral veins or arteries that can be implanted or inserted under the skin, allowing fluids and medications to be delivered.
  • Catheters inserted into arteries can be used to monitor therapy and patient status (i.e., hemodynamics).
  • Examples of VADs include PVADs (e.g., extended dwell, midline catheters); CVADs (e.g., PICCs, tunneled catheters, non-tunneled catheters or IVADs); peripheral arterial catheters; and phlebotomy devices.
Clinical Management
Assessment and Device Selection for Vascular Access
Background Information