Central venous access device: Clinical practice guide

Published: October 2021. Next review: 2026.

This clinical practice guide can support NSW local health districts (LHDs) and hospitals to develop local procedures for the care of patients with a central venous access device (CVAD).

A CVAD is used to deliver fluids, medication and nutrition to patients.

While insertion of a CVAD is a common procedure, it can also have significant risks. There are risks with insertion and removal of a CVAD, as well as risks associated with having a CVAD in place for a period of time. These risks include:

  • infection
  • malposition
  • thrombosis
  • vascular injury
  • air embolus.

The guide provides recommendations for evidence-based clinical practice that can improve patient outcomes.

Download the guide (PDF 1.0 MB)

CVAD Guideline

At a glance

The clinical practice guide covers recommendations for:

  • pre-insertion
  • insertion
  • post-insertion
  • removal.


This is an update to the Clinical practice guideline: Central venous access device post insertion management, published in 2014.

The updated guide has been reviewed by a working group, including expert medical, nursing and allied health representatives from LHDs across NSW.

Other resources

Clinical focus report - Central venous access devices and air embolism
Source: Clinical Excellence Commission

Back to top