Safe vascular access | Association of Anaesthetists

Safe vascular access

Please note that these guidelines are currently under review and will be updated in due course


Safe vascular access is integral to anaesthetic and critical care practice, but procedures are a frequent source of patient adverse events. Ensuring safe and effective approaches to vascular catheter insertion should be a priority for all practitioners. This guidance was created using reviews of current practice and literature, as well as expert opinion.  

The result is a consensus document which provides practical advice on the safe insertion and removal of vascular access devices, including: 

  • Peripheral venous cannulation 
  • Intra-osseus access 
  • Arterial access 
  • Insertion and removal of central venous catheters (CVCs) 
  • Infection control 
  • Use of in situ long-term devices 
  • Service provision for vascular access