What is the real cost of vascular access-related complications?

A BD literature review—the global burden of vascular access complications 

We believe that raising awareness of vascular access (VA) complications through excellence in VA management is crucial to help protect patients from preventable risks that may impact patient safety.  

BD will be launching an awareness campaign on vascular access complications. Starting next month in the September issue, we will be introducing a series of articles to highlight the various types of complications that can arise and their corresponding impacts.

Targeted literature review

In 2020, BD Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) conducted a targeted literature review to assess the global burden of vascular access complications over the last 10 years. 

The objective was to analyse the available literature surrounding VA complications in order to support awareness, consider how to monitor, and prevent these complications from occurring. 

Following a full review of available publications, 446 studies were included for the final analysis. 


The literature review identified:

  • A significant rate of peripheral venous catheter failure (>50%)1,2; more robust studies are needed to demonstrate the clinical/economic burden of peripheral IV (PIV) failure among European hospitals.
  • Scarce robust clinical data evaluating midline catheters alone or comparing against other vascular access devices (VADs) in European inpatient wards.
  • A focus on blood stream infections (BSIs) for central venous catheters, but other outcomes, like deep venous thrombosis and phlebitis, have been studied less extensively.  The focus of data concerning central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) or catheter-related blood stream infection (CRBSI) data is mainly from critical care settings.

VAM complications awareness 

Vascular access management (VAM) is a critical part of patient safety; a worthy subject requiring continued research and investigation. 

Through conducting literature reviews such as the one described above, BD strives to raise awareness of VA complications, share best practices and foster a culture of safety. 

Don’t forget to check out the series of articles in our awareness campaign focused on VA complications. The first article, featured next month in the September BD IV News issue, will be titled: “The real cost of catheter-related bloodstream infections”. 


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1 Miliani K, Taravella R, Thillard D, et al. Peripheral venous catheter-related adverse events: evaluation from a multicentre epidemiological study in France (the CATHEVAL Project). PLoS ONE. 2017; 12. e0168637. 10.1371/journal.pone.0168637.

2 Forni C, Loro L, Tremosini M, et al. Studio di coorte sulla popolazione ortopedica delle complicanze correlate all’utilizzo del catetere venoso periferico e identificazione dei fattori predittivi [Cohort study of peripheral catheter related complications and identification of predictive factors in a population of orthopedic patients]. Assist Inferm Ric. 2010 Oct-Dec;29(4):166-73. Italian. PMID: 21409809.

Approved number: BD-39223