Considerations on the use of vascular access devices in patients with COVID-19
The health emergency linked to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a series of dramatic changes in the routine of our clinical practice, requiring the revision of many decision-making processes, the re-organization of treatment units, and the reformulation of protocols and procedures. In this regard, in the practice of venous access – which is essential for the appropriate treatment of COVID-19 patients – it was necessary to review the criteria for the selection, insertion and maintenance of the various devices currently present in our hospitals.
In these pages, a group of experts from GAVeCeLT (Long Term Central Venous Access Group) has tried to point out some important aspects concerning vascular access in COVID-19 patients, based on their current experience in the treatment of these patients, identifying those strategies that simultaneously take into account the need to protect the operator, to ensure the effectiveness of the maneuver, to reduce the risk of complications for the patient, and to avoid a waste of resources. These considerations and recommendations have not yet been published or reviewed. They reflect the views and experiences of the authors and have been drafted to provide a potentially useful tool for all colleagues who need to treat critical or non-critical COVID-19 patients.
Along the lines of an editorial on the subject currently being published in the Journal of Vascular Access (1), the topic has been addressed taking into account four key points.