Management of Central Venous Access Device-Associated Skin Impairment: An Evidence-Based Algorithm

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Broadhurst, Daphne
Moureau, Nancy
Ullman, Amanda J
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Patients relying on central venous access devices (CVADs) for treatment are frequently complex. Many have multiple comorbid conditions, including renal impairment, nutritional deficiencies, hematologic disorders, or cancer. These conditions can impair the skin surrounding the CVAD insertion site, resulting in an increased likelihood of skin damage when standard CVAD management practices are employed. Supported by the World Congress of Vascular Access (WoCoVA), developed an evidence- and consensus-based algorithm to improve CVAD-associated skin impairment (CASI) identification and diagnosis, guide clinical decision-making, and improve clinician confidence in managing CASI. A scoping review of relevant literature surrounding CASI management was undertaken March 2014, and results were distributed to an international advisory panel. A CASI algorithm was developed by an international advisory panel of clinicians with expertise in wounds, vascular access, pediatrics, geriatric care, home care, intensive care, infection control and acute care, using a 2-phase, modified Delphi technique. The algorithm focuses on identification and treatment of skin injury, exit site infection, noninfectious exudate, and skin irritation/contact dermatitis. It comprised 3 domains: assessment, skin protection, and patient comfort. External validation of the algorithm was achieved by prospective pre- and posttest design, using clinical scenarios and self-reported clinician confidence (Likert scale), and incorporating algorithm feasibility and face validity endpoints. The CASI algorithm was found to significantly increase participants' confidence in the assessment and management of skin injury (P = .002), skin irritation/contact dermatitis (P = .001), and noninfectious exudate (P < .01). A majority of participants reported the algorithm as easy to understand (24/25; 96%), containing all necessary information (24/25; 96%). Twenty-four of 25 (96%) stated that they would recommend the tool to guide management of CASI.

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Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing

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© 2017 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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