The Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching and Research (AVATAR) group continues to spread its wings. What began in 2007 as a small group of intravascular researchers in Australia has morphed into a global alliance with intravascular researchers, clinicians, educators and industry partners collaborating for numerous research projects.
The AVATAR group researches and publishes extensively on all facets of vascular access practice in hospitals and home care. Several large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are currently underway, examining diverse topics including device flushing, administration set replacement, and dressing securement. In addition to clinical trials, the group has a strong microbiology arm, led by Dr Li Zhang, PhD, investigating the role of biofilm in needleless connector and catheter complications, and Dr David McMillan, PhD studying the infective potential associated with administration sets and dressings. Vascular access education for clinicians is also a growing focus of the group, with a university accredited course in IV insertion and management available.
WoCoVA, Berlin
The AVATAR group wishes to thank the organisers of this year’s World Congress on Vascular Access (WoCoVA), which was held in June in Berlin, Germany. The 3-day biannual congress was attended by over 1000 delegates from many countries, with the AVATAR group delivering almost 20 presentations in addition to posters and a pre-congress symposium to showcase the One Million Global Peripheral Intravascular Catheter (OMG PIVC) study. Several members of the study team explained the study aims and methods, but the highlight of the symposium was definitely Laura Alberto’s fabulous presentation describing how she has spread enthusiasm for the OMG PIVC study throughout Argentina.


Other WoCoVA presentations from AVATAR included:

Prof Claire Rickard (AU): “Securement of Peripheral IVs” 
Dr Sam Keogh (AU): “Nursing and midwifery intravenous device flushing practice: A cross sectional survey”
Dr Li Zhang (AU): “Bacterial Communities on Inner and Outer Surfaces of Peripheral Venous Catheters”
Dr Niall Higgins (AU): “Translating vascular access research for clinicians”
Peter Carr (AU) and Dr Jack LeDonne (USA): Inaugural WoCoVA Film Festival
Peter Carr (AU): “The Emergency Department and peripheral cannulation”, “ Cochrane Protocol: Vascular access specialist teams for device insertion and prevention of failure”
Gillian Ray-Barruel (AU): “Inter-rater agreement of phlebitis assessment symptoms and scales”
Nicole Marsh (AU): “Securing peripheral venous catheters in hospitals: can we do better at preventing catheter failure?”
Heather Reynolds (AU): “Securing arterial lines effectively in the operating theatre and the ICU: A pilot trial”
Nicole Gavin (AU): “Does parenteral nutrition promote microbial growth? A review of clinical and laboratory findings”
Julie Flynn (AU): “Sterile versus aseptic non-touch technique when changing the bung on a central venous access device: A retrospective cohort study”
Rand Butcher (AU): “The quality of published central venous catheter clinical practice guidelines: a systematic appraisal using the AGREE II instrument”
Azlina Daud (Malaysia): “Replacement after standard versus prolonged use of administration set for arterial catheter in an Australian intensive care unit: a feasibility RCT”
Tim Spencer (AU): “Expanding field of competence for clinicians - from PIVs to CICCs”, “Malpositioned PICC tip repositioning using a high-flow flushing technique - a review of clinical practice, procedural outcomes and cost implications for clinicians”
Sheila Inwood (UK), “How does a clinician choose needle free connectors: are there evidence based recommendations?”
Poster presentations:

Tricia Kleidon: Taurolidine-Citrate line locks prevent recurrent catheter related bacteraemia - Evaluation of this novel therapy in a paediatric population
Tricia Kleidon: An intervention to reduce catheter related blood stream infections in paediatric patients - a bundle of care
Samantha Keogh: A time and motion study of peripheral venous catheter flushing practice using manually prepared and pre-filled syringes
Amanda Ullman: Dressings and securement devices for central venous catheters (CVC): a systematic review
The team looks forward to showcasing more research and building further networking alliances with our international colleagues at the upcoming AVA conference in National Harbour, Maryland, in September. If you’ll be there, come and say G’day!
OMG Study Update
With a focus on exploring clinical practices in PIVC insertion and management, the OMG PIVC study continues to expand recruitment. The one-day prevalence study will provide previously unavailable data for benchmarking PIVC clinical practice across the globe. More than 430 hospitals in 40 countries (including 10 languages) have decided to participate. Most are in the stage of achieving local approvals (management and ethics, as needed), and a handful of hospitals have already completed their data collection. The study will continue to recruit hospitals until December 31, 2014. If you would like to learn more or register your interest in the study, please go to www.omgpivc.org. 
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