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Int J Nurs Stud. 2012 Feb;49(2):162-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Nurse-led central venous catheter insertion-procedural characteristics and outcomes of three intensive care based catheter placement services.

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  • 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Nurse-led central venous catheter placement is an emerging clinical role internationally. Procedural characteristics and clinical outcomes is an important consideration in appraisal of such advanced nursing roles.


To review characteristics and outcomes of three nurse-led central venous catheter insertion services based in intensive care units in New South Wales, Australia.


Using data from the Central Line Associated Bacteraemia project in New South Wales intensive care units. Descriptive statistical techniques were used to ascertain comparison rates and proportions.


De-identified outcome data of patients who had a central venous catheter inserted as part of their therapy by one of the four advanced practice nurses working in three separate hospitals in New South Wales.


Between March 2007 and June 2009, 760 vascular access devices were placed by the three nurse-led central venous catheter placement services. Hospital A inserted 520 catheters; Hospital C with 164; and Hospital B with 76. Over the study period, insertion outcomes were favourable with only 1 pneumothorax (1%), 1 arterial puncture (1%) and 1 CLAB (1%) being recorded across the three groups. The CLAB rate was lower in comparison to the aggregated CLAB data set [1.3 per 1000 catheters (95% CI=0.03-7.3) vs. 7.2 per 1000 catheters (95% CI=5.9-8.7)].


This study has demonstrated safe patient outcomes with nurse led CVC insertion as compared with published data. Nurses who are formally trained and credentialed to insert CVCs can improve organisational efficiencies. This study adds to emerging data that developing clinical roles that focus on skills, procedural volume and competency can be a viable option in health care facilities.

Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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