Insertion and Management of Peripheral Intravenous Cannulae in Western Australian Healthcare Facilities

Applicable to: This policy applies to all HCFs within the WA health system.

Description: Peripheral intravenous cannulae (PIVC) provide direct access to the patient’s bloodstream and therefore pose a serious risk for infection from microorganisms introduced either at the time of insertion or while the cannula is in situ. PIVC related infections are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, prolonged hospital stay and additional healthcare costs. Infections associated with PIVC are considered preventable adverse events.1-4

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standard 3 requires healthcare facilities (HCFs) to develop and implement systems for the use and management of invasive devices.5

Data from Healthcare Infection Surveillance WA (HISWA) shows that the majority of healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (HA-SABSIs) occur as a result of intravascular devices (IVD), with a large percentage of IVD related HA-SABSI attributable to PIVCs.6 This finding is despite the availability of clinical practice standards, policies and guidelines in place within WA HCFs.

In response to HISWA data, the NSQHS Standard 3.8 was chosen as an appropriate criterion in the 2014 WA Point Prevalence Survey (WAPPS) to assess compliance against recommended infection prevention strategies for the management of PIVC. Results from this survey identified a need for a state-wide policy that described standardised practices to minimise the risk of PIVC complications.7

Prevention of PIVC related infection requires a combination of processes including avoiding insertion of unnecessary catheters, and strong clinical governance in relation to provision of training and education and support for infection prevention practices utilised during insertion and management of these devices.

Date of effect: 23 August 2017

Policy Framework