Vascular access devices include peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) lines, central venous access devices (CVAD), peripheral intravenous (IV) lines, midline catheters, and mediports. They are used to deliver fluid, medications, and nutrients efficiently. There are many different health conditions that could require the regular use of a vascular access device. The following are some common conditions that require vascular access devices.

Prolonged Nutritional Deficiency

Treatment for nutritional deficiencies vary widely based on the severity of the issue. In some cases, dietary changes, supplements, or multivitamins may be enough. However, if you develop a severe nutritional deficiency, you might be prescribed total parenteral nutrition (TPN). TPN is an intravenous solution formulated containing fat, sugars, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, or trace elements. Typically, TPN is administered through a PICC or CVAD.

Widespread Infection

Another condition that may require vascular access is a severe or widespread infection. If you’ve been given multiple prescriptions for oral antibiotics or if you are in the hospital, your healthcare provider may prescribe IV antibiotics. Intravenous therapy quickly delivers medication throughout your body. It also helps prevent the nausea that you would likely experience with oral antibiotics.

Pre- or Post-Procedure Status

When you’re having surgery or a routine dental procedure performed, you’ll need to receive extra fluids and medication. Typically, these include fluids to maintain adequate hydration and medication to help you feel calmer or manage your pain. You may also receive intravenous antibiotics to prevent or treat an infection.

Because such infusions are traveling directly into your bloodstream, you need high-quality vascular access services. Developing an infection due to your vascular access is a risk that doubles when you have two lines. Properly trained vascular specialist nurses can reduce this risk by using meticulous technique. They can also quickly recognize signs of infection, so that your doctor can immediately begin your treatment. These nurses may be part of a mobile vascular access service that is working with your doctor. 


If you’re receiving chemotherapy for cancer, it is frequently delivered through a mediport. A mediport is an access device implanted into your chest or arm. This device can be used for years and allows you to receive chemotherapy without multiple needle sticks. Since cancer can cause other health issues or symptoms, this port may also be used to treat those. In these cases, you might also receive TPN, antibiotics, and other medications through your mediport.

Temporary or Chronic Kidney Failure

If you require dialysis to treat your temporary or chronic kidney failure, you’ll receive a hemodialysis catheter. This access device can be implanted in your neck, chest, or groin. During dialysis, your catheter will carry your blood to the hemodialysis machine, remove waste products, and infuse your blood with electrolytes before returning your blood to your body.

These are only a few of the common conditions that are managed using vascular access devices. Such devices are beneficial when you need consistent delivery of medication, nutrients, and fluids. If you have any questions about your vascular access device or medical condition or questions about how to properly care for your vascular access device, please reach out to your healthcare provider.

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