Responsible Compassionate Care from Vascular access specialists is required to meet the needs of patients with a history of Intravenous Drug Abuse.
Vascular access specialists are brought into many difficult situations that stretch their ability to provide appropriate
care to patients who have complicated medical and personal histories. In the following case, a hospital was challenged to
provide appropriate care while remaining responsible and compassionate throughout the duration of infusate delivery.
Discussion Illegal use of drugs continues to be a major public health issue.3 Internationally, nearly 16 million people inject illegal drugs, according to the World Health Organization. Although this process is being implemented and refined in our Outpatient Services Department, applying this screening tool to every patient who leaves our facility with vascular access in place is a project for the future
Process According to the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice, “Infusion therapy is provided with attention to patient safety and quality. Care is individualized, collaborative, culturally sensitive and age appropriate.” 2 In collaboration with risk management experts, the patient safety officer, the outpatient director, the outpatient nursing staff, the postsurgical director, the postsurgical nursing staff, the Vascular Access Department staff and director, the primary physician, the Behavioral Health Department staff, security, the Emergency Department, house supervisors, and the patient a process was initiated to care for this patient while being realistic, responsible, and compassionate in our approach.