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Report on the IV Therapy conference

The event, its winter conference, brought together specialist IV practitioners working in the NHS and with private health institutions.

Dominic Quainoo, a Vascular Access Practitioner and Practice Facilitator with The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, attended the event with Anne Ho, a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Central Venous Access Team, as delegates from the Trust. And for an overview of the conference, Dominic has filed this report:

The Winter Conference themed: IV Therapy Summit 2019 was organised to address the subject of Difficult Venous Access and to specifically explore the issue of Uncompliant Patients and to find ways of Improving Practice with this patient category. The event brought together some 45 specialist practitioners working in NHS hospitals and private health institutions, academics from healthcare training and nursing schools involved in teaching future practitioners, and clinical practice educators responsible for training junior doctors and nurses. They came from all corners of the United Kingdom.

If there was one common rallying call that united all those who attended, it was the traumatic experience of what patients go through, especially the very young, when having an IV procedure. That reflective experience of those procedures came across as an ever present familiarity that wasn’t lost on anyone.  It was the one concern, which preoccupied every single participant, and appropriately so, it dominated the day long discussions and presentations. Being the dominant key issue, the one thing everyone seemed to have on their minds was to how safely and effectively carry out therapeutic IV procedures devoid of the trepidation that patients go through once practitioners show up.

The range of topics presented covered vascular access devices, efforts to meeting national standards following CQC guidelines for safe IV therapy, the push for a four-step approach in handling the uncompliant patient in delivering treatment, the need to manage patients with poor vascular access, making an appropriate choice of vascular access in children and the need for maintaining vessel health and preservation.

Besides the stimulating and engaging presentations, interaction amongst participants was well facilitated by the adequately-timed short breaks and coffee breaks. The stylish layout of the conference centre, its copious meeting spaces, and the vibrant conservatory feel of The Studio Conference Centre, seem to have been an enabling factor that encouraged many to hold their own informal networking sessions. These brief meet-ups afforded participants the opportunity to gain insights into the working practices of other health institutions. Generally, the pervading congenial atmosphere and the informality of the pockets of networking rendezvous seemed to have enabled many to focus on their varying approaches to addressing similar clinical situations.

Of the many side attractions and highlights at the conference, my one lingering twinkling moment is the presentation and exhibits I came upon at the stand of 3M. Made famous by its famous Post-It note leaflets, 3M came across as a company that that prides itself in its recognition as a science-based technology corporation, which, in the words of the company representative, is “committed to improving lives and doing business the right way” Well, I have not known any other entities to make a comparison but 3M seems to have done just that with its new products on exhibition. Thriving on that claim, the company has researched and developed a new brand of Tegaderm IV dressing for protecting cannula insertion sites.

The new Tegaderm IV dressing comes with a new innovative design and improved product enhancement that I can only applaud and describe as very much dream-fulfilling. The new paediatric teddy bear Tegaderm dressing comes newly redesigned and is one such example that I believe would be a big hit with many an IV practitioner who’s ever endured the frustration of an adhesive dressing that would not hold in place after insertion of an IV cannula. Unlike earlier versions presently is use, this new product would still work even on clammy skin types in instances where the older versions have failed miserably. Comparatively, it even works better than the alternative brown plasters that practitioners resort to using when handling very trying and challenging cannulation procedures.

The one ringing message many, if not all, participants seem to have carried away is the advice by the Chair of NIVAS (National Infusion and Vascular Access Society) Andrew Barton. In his seemingly simple easily digestible straightforward but loaded dictum, he gave out this time-tested advice: “when there’s a roadblock, find another way.”

Pointing it out as a cardinal rule, his recommended to all practitioners to recall this advice when encountering difficulties with any patient, be they children or adults, while undertaking IV procedures for whatever intervention for which the IV is needed. That piece of advice underscores the essence of the four-step approach in considering the uncompliant patient for any IV Therapy Invention.

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11 February 2019


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