Vascular access procedure and practice guideline

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This NHSGGC-wide guideline replaces YOR-DIV-008: Central venous access devices: care and use.

This is the updated Vascular Access Procedure and Practice Guidelines for vascular access devices (VAD) incorporating NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) adult (acute, mental health and community), paediatric and neonatal services. VADs are inserted for therapeutic purposes such as administration of intravenous (IV) fluids, medicines, blood transfusions and parenteral nutrition (PN). Other purposes for specific vascular access devices are renal dialysis, blood sampling and central venous pressure monitoring.

This document is organised with core introduction followed by care and maintenance templates. The information contained is based on current information available. Quality improvement, audit and research within clinical areas mean that this evidence base is constantly evolving. Practitioners should endeavour to use the most up-to-date evidence on which to base their practice. The purpose of this guideline is to state the care and maintenance of the following VADs:

  • Peripheral Venous Catheter (PVC)
  • Midline catheter
  • Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)
  • Non-Tunnelled Central Venous Catheter (CVC)
  • Tunnelled Central Venous Catheter (tCVC)
    • Uncuffed tCVC
    • Cuffed tCVC
  • Dialysis Central Venous Catheter
  • Implantable Ports

The detailed procedures for insertion of VADs are outside the scope of this guideline. Practitioners involved with insertion of VADs will be informed of where specific insertion procedure guidance can be found.



This guideline is relevant to all NHSGGC health board staff that care for patients with a VAD. This guideline should be used in conjunction with other relevant guidelines and standards


Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 27 November 2017

Next review: 30 November 2019

Author(s): Ysobel Gourlay

Version: 1

Approved By: Antimicrobial Utilisation Committee