10 May 2017

Improving intravascular (IV) care for patients in the Australian healthcare system will save hundreds of millions of dollars annually, which could be redirected to other vital national health priorities and improve patients’ hospital experiences and outcomes.

This is the call from Professor Samantha Keogh of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and President of the Australian Vascular Access Society (AVAS), which is hosting its 2nd National Scientific Meeting in Perth, 10-12 May 2017.

Professor Keogh says “AVAS is launching the ‘Only One’ campaign at their meeting to raise awareness about IV complications and the impact quality and evidence based practice could make. One patient. One IV. One episode of care. No complications.”

Nearly 30 million IV devices are currently used annually in Australia, with that number expected to rise to 46 million by 2025. Up to 90 percent of hospital patients require some form of  IV device to deliver essential medical treatment or facilitate monitoring.

If best practice initiatives were translated to the bedside the following could occur: 

  • Using dedicated and ultrasound trained IV inserters could improve first insertion rate from 50% to 95% saving patients multiple unnecessary needlesticks;
  • Reducing failure in peripheral IVs by 10 percent could save 2.4 million unnecessary needlesticks for patients and save the Australian healthcare system $175 million per year
  • Measures to reduce IV related bloodstream infection have been highly successful, nonetheless approximately 10,000 central IV related bloodstream infections occur in Australian hospitals each year. Each infection prevented saves the healthcare system $50 000 per patient, not to mention improving outcomes.

Set to speak at the AVAS Scientific Meeting is Order of Australia awardee Professor Fiona Wood, Director Burns Service Western Australia, on the role of translational research in excellence in healthcare, who said “In bringing basic science to the bedside the aim is to build a unique capacity to facilitate direct research collaborations between researchers and practitioners across basic science, population health, clinical care and clinical outcomes.”

Also speaking is Dr Naomi O’Grady from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) who will discuss the ongoing journey of preventing IV related bloodstream infection: “Zeroing in on Zero”.

Dr O’Grady says “Previous prevention efforts have focused on central IV insertion in intensive care units, due to the frequency and the profound effect of hospital-acquired infections on ICU patients. They also focused on lapses in insertion techniques that lead to infection. But now we know that maintaining IVs can be equally associated with risk of infection, not just in the ICU but in other settings too.”

Chair of the AVAS Meeting, Peter Carr says “we need a similar shift in culture, thinking and practice to reduce preventable complications and failure with all IV devices..”

For more information on Vascular Access and the Only One campaign please visit

10 May 2017 - 12 May 2017
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Australian Vascular Access Society (AVAS)
Professor Samantha Keogh
0407 596 082
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Australian Vascular Access Society (AVAS)


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