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NIVAS 2015 digest: five things you need to know

This year’s National Infusion and Vascular Access Society (NIVAS) conference proved to be yet another success with a myriad of presentations, targeted workshops and several useful networking opportunities. NIVAS is the first independent, multiprofessional society to be founded in the UK in the last century. Addressing an important unmet need, NIVAS aims to promote excellence and advance practice in this specialised field through communication, collaboration and education. NIVAS has a growing membership and is proud to count among their ranks nurses, anaesthetists, radiologists, microbiologists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) who came together at the annual meeting to discuss the challenges and future of intravenous therapy in the UK.

For those unable to attend, those who were able to attend and wish to recap, and finally those who are just curious to learn what this year’s NIVAS was all about, below are my top five topics discussed at this year’s meeting.

1. A call for more data

A recurring theme this year was the need for more robust, high-quality data in the field of vascular access. Some headway is being made in producing such data, with large, well-structured studies such as the One Million Global Peripheral Intravenous Catheters (OMGPIVC) study and the Cancer and Venous Access (CAVA) trial currently underway. Delegates were encouraged to share their own data, experiences and expertise through as many forums and platforms as possible so that informed, well-founded recommendations can be made.

2. Vascular access education is lacking

As with most specialised medical fields, education is paramount to the success of vascular access. It was the general feeling among delegates and speakers that education around vascular access techniques and possible complications was lacking and that the wider medical community may even perceive the field as basic. As such, it was proposed that this issue be addressed as early as medical school, where little or no education on the particulars of vascular access is currently given certainly posing a major challenge going forward.

3. Challenges in vascular access—learning from the experience of others

All HCPs working in vascular access have challenges that they need to overcome ranging from the specific, such as patients with sickle cell disease, to more general, such as getting Trust funding. During the conference many challenges were discussed and delegates took home with them some top tips to help them in demanding situations such as the start of a service, managing particularly difficult patients, anatomically odd cases and more.

4. Technology is the future of vascular access

The use of technology is at the forefront of ensuring safe vascular access and will undoubtedly become common practice in the future. The practicalities and data around the use of technology such as electrocardiograms, ultrasounds and infrared devices in vascular access were peppered throughout the 2 days of jam-packed sessions, with one particularly engaging workshop dedicated to vein visualisation using technology devices. These technologies were found to be easy to use, not costly and, most importantly, beneficial to patient experience.

5. Vascular access in the community is a real possibility

Vascular access in the community was a hot topic this year, with two particularly impressive cases presented that show that safe vascular access is achievable for select patients outside the hospital. Whether at a GP office or the actual home of the patient, services delivering intravenous medication in a community setting were exceptionally well received by patients and provided insightful case study pieces for consideration by other Trusts.

Succinct and NIVAS

Succinct and NIVAS have a long standing relationship, whereby, Succinct offer all the services of a Secretariat. Since 2009, Succinct and NIVAS have developed a trusted partnership that has evidently borne fruit in terms of increasing membership, engagement with Industry and achievement of NIVAS’ goals. Succinct are proud to be a part of this type of partnership and look forward to the future.

Further information on NIVAS can be found here:http://www.nivas.org.uk/

A more comprehensive overview of the conference in the form of a short report can be found here: http://www.nivas.org.uk/conference/archive