Central venous access devices and cancer care: What we know but don’t implement | Kerrie Curtis

Identifying practice gaps in the management of Central Venous Access Devices in cancer contexts. A multi-site knowledge translation study.

Kerrie Curtis
PhD Student, Cancer Nursing Research
University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research

13 May 2020 

Venous access is critical to the efficient and effective delivery of many aspects of care for 13,000 adult Australians diagnosed with a haematological malignancy each year. Evidence indicates that between 15-66% of Central Venous Access Devices (CVADs) fail prematurely, with cancer patients having the highest rates of CVAD failures. This results in often, unnecessary patient anxiety and distress, poor vessel health, increased rates of reinsertion and increased healthcare expenditure.

This study sets out to explore and explain why CVADs fail;  what proportion of CVADs fail due to complications; why CVAD outcome data is not routinely collected and reported in Victoria; and why evidence from vascular access research is not translated and implemented in practice  to improve patient outcomes and system costs? The first phase of this three-phase study will describe reasons for CVAD removal in haematology patients across five VCCC hospitals to, 1) establish baseline metrics required to generate targeted interventions to mitigate and manage CVAD complication risks and, 2) reduce premature CVAD failure rates with evidence-informed technology and equipment in each healthcare service.

Kerrie Curtis

Kerrie Curtis is an expert cancer nurse. She has worked in a variety of roles in the public and private sectors and within inpatient, ambulatory and homecare settings. She has recently led vascular access projects at Austin Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital. 

Kerrie has combined expertise in vascular access and cancer care. She is the Deputy Chair of Cancer Nurses Society of Australia - Vascular Access Specialist Practice Network, is the Victorian Representative for Australian Vascular Access Society (AVAS), and an Adjunct research Fellow with the AVATAR Group – Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching and Research in Brisbane, Qld.

Kerrie has recently commenced her PhD at the University of Melbourne, looking into premature CVAD failure in the haematology patient cohort.