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Explain the basis for the correct choice of Vascular Access device. What questions should we ask the patient?

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Many different types of vascular access devices exist. It is up to the health care professional to choose the most appropriate device to use given the clinical situation. When deciding which device to use ask yourself these questions. Why does the patient need a vascular access ? What is the age of the patient ? How long will the patient require the access ? Is this an emergency situation or is the care being provided more routine in nature ? Will the patient require blood products or simply intravenous fluids ? Is the patient going to the operating room for some invasive procedure ? Is the patient undergoing some special procedure like bronchoscope or arteriogram ? Is the patient pregnant or bleeding or in some shock state? Only when these questions are answered can you realistically determine which vascular access device the patient truly needs at this given time.

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