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Merry Christmas and Happy 2019 from AVATAR

Vascular Access and Infusion Therapy touches so many lives: patients, practitioners, relatives, manufacturers, educators, scientists and students. It doesn’t always go well, but with your help, we can make a difference.

We’ve loved working, speaking, eating, drinking and laughing with you all this year! Wishing you some ‘down time’ with special people and then renewed energy, peace, and blessings for next year’s opportunities.

We congratulate all AVATAR staff, collaborators and students for their achievements and efforts in 2018 which included over 40 published journal articles. Way to go AVATAR!!

Our special congratulations go to the following AVATAR 2018 Award winners who each receive a $500 conference bursary, supported by the senior staff consultancy funds:

AVATAR 2018 PhD Student of the Year: Karen Slater

AVATAR 2018 Encouragement Award: Jessica Schults

AVATAR 2018 Teacher of the Year: Nicole Marsh

AVATAR 2018 Researcher of the Year: Amanda Ullman. We also congratulate Amanda on her recent promotion to Associate Professor- well deserved!!!

Healthy wishes,


Major Australian Government Grant

Congratulations to Amanda Ullman, Patrick Harris, Andrew Bulmer, Rachel Walker, Naomi Runnegar, Tricia Kleidon, Paul Lee-Archer, and Ben Pearch who were awarded AUD$706,582 from the National Health and Medical Research Council, for the project Peripherally inserted central catheter Innovation to reduce Infections and Clots: the PICNIC trial. 2019-2021. New Investigator Project Grant Scheme.

During this trial, we will randomise 1150 patients with PICCs at two adult and one paediatric hospitals in Brisbane, Australia to have a standard, antithrombogenic or antimicrobial PICC. The primary outcome to be compared is PICC failure – a composite of thrombosis, occlusion, PICC-associated bloodstream infection, local infection, fracture, and/or dislodgement, severe enough to cause cessation of PICC function prior to therapy completion.

This allows us to follow on from earlier pilot work Kleidon P, Ullman A, Zhang L, Mihala G, Chaseling B, Schoutrop J, Rickard CM. How does your PICCOMPARE? A pilot randomized controlled trial comparing various PICC materials in pediatrics. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2018 Aug 13(8):517-525. The pilot work was made possible by an investigator-initiated research grant from Angiodynamics.

7th International ACIPC Conference, Brisbane, November 19-21

It was wonderful to witness such a great turn-out from AVATARians at this year’s Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control conference, held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

Special congratulations are due to our award winners:  

  • Amanda Corley, PhD candidate (The Prince Charles Hospital and Griffith University), who received a Cardinal Health Infection Control Scholarship for the major research project: “Optimal dressing and securement of peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVCs) to prevent infection and failure”. 

  • Nicole Marsh, PhD candidate, and team won a top poster award for the research project: “How often are patients experiencing local and catheter-related bloodstream infections within an adult population? A systematic review of peripheral venous catheter complications and failure. 

  • Mari Takashima and team also won a top poster award for the research projectBuilding a central vascular access device registry in an adult intensive care unit: feasibility study 


Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit an abstract and provide an oral or poster presentation (or both!) to raise the profile of vascular access at this very popular and well-attended annual event.  

  • Prof Claire Rickard delivered a plenary session detailing the recent SAVE trial results: “Dressings and securements for the prevention of peripheral intravenous catheter failure in adults (SAVE Trial)”. You can view the presentation here and read the Lancet publication here.  

  • Emily Larsen delivered an oral abstract paper: “The incidence and cumulative risk of primary bloodstream and venous infections in 12,942 peripheral intravenous catheters in Australia”, which can be viewed here.  

  • Nicole Gavin provided two oral abstract presentations, “Hands up for hand hygiene in cancer care” and “Improving vascular access care for cancer patients”. 

  • Hui (Grace) Xu presented the results of a systematic review: “Can the implementation of a PIVC bundle reduce bloodstream infection? A systematic review”, which can be viewed here. 

  • Dr Gillian Ray-Barruel presented the preliminary results of her post-doctoral project: “Reduction in ‘Just in Case’ Cannula Rates with a Structured Assessment and Decision Tool: An Interrupted Time-Series Study”. The presentation can be seen here. 


It was excellent to hear that the ACIPC journal, Infection, Disease and Health, has been accepted for indexation in Medline. Indexation means that the journal will now have a much wider audience and appeal. This will lead to increased journal submissions and citations: always a good outcome for research!


Latin America Speaking Tour, sponsored by BD

Professor Claire Rickard and Senior Research Assistant Emily Larsen had the opportunity to visit AVATAR collaborators in Argentina, Brazil and Chile in October. This involved multiple lectures, hospital visits and panel discussions on Key Performance Indicators for Infusion Therapy, the OMG Study, and Improving Patient Experiences with Peripheral IVs and PICCs. This was great timing in preparation for the Vascular Access Catheter Use in Latin America (VASCULAR) Study led by Dr Rachel Walker (Follow this study on Facebook at


Vascular Access- Call for Papers

 Vascular access AVAS


Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2019. 


The Australian Vascular Access Society (AVAS) is an association of healthcare professionals founded to promote the vascular access specialty ( Our multidisciplinary membership strives to advance vascular access research, promotes professional and public education to shape practice and enhance patient outcomes, and partners with industry to develop evidence-based innovations in vascular access. 


The electronic journal Vascular Access is the official publication of AVAS, and provides a venue for national and international scholars and practitioners to publish high-quality peer-reviewed research and educational reviews relevant to vascular access in Australia and globally. The journal also provides a space for evidence-based discussions and debate on issues of importance to patients requiring vascular access. 


Vascular Access is published twice a year (April and October) and manuscripts pertaining to this specialty are invited. The editor welcomes manuscripts in the form of research findings, clinical papers, case studies, reports, review articles, letters and product appraisals. Video submissions are also welcomed. Submissions will be accepted from any country but must be in English. 


For more information, please see the Author Guidelines or contact the Editor at 



Australian Vascular Access Society Scientific Meeting 2019, Sydney


The Australian Vascular Access Society invites submissions from those interested in presenting oral papers, mini orals (5 slides in 5 minutes), video abstracts and posters at the AVAS SM 2019. 
We welcome clinical and scientific research papers, quality improvement, education initiatives, case studies etc. 
Visit the AVAS SM Website for more information.


Seminar focusing on OPAT/HITH

In collaboration with St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, the CRE REDUCE is delivering a timely educational event on the current trends and the widening scope of Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT)/Hospital in the Home (HITH) to be hosted in Sydney, Wednesday February 20 2019. Led by the experts in the field, including Dr Mark Gilchrist from the Imperial College London, UK, the seminar is organised to precede the Australia Society for Antimicrobials 20th Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney.

Rectangle: Rounded Corners: READ MORE


AVAS 2019 Scientific Meeting- Walk the Line

12-14 May 2019
Parkroyal Parramatta, Sydney, Australia
See More

ICPIC 2019 International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control

10-13 September 2019
Geneva, Switzerland
See More

AVA 2019 Association for Vascular Access Annual Scientific Meeting

4-7 October 2019
Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, NV, USA
See More

Infusion Nurses Society National Academy

1-3 November 2019
San Diego, CA, USA
See More

New Publications

Please, find the articles under Our Publications on the AVATAR website

Moureau N, March N, Zhang L, Bauer M, Larsen E, Mihala G, Corley A, Lye I, Cooke M, Rickard CM. Evaluation of Skin Colonisation And Placement of vascular access device Exit sites (ESCAPE Study). Journal of Infection Prevention. 

Walker R, Ray-Barruel G. Australian team fosters global nursing research. QNMU In-scope 2018;6:50. June

Ray-Barruel G. Mark your calendars! Editorial. Vascular Access, 2018. October 4(2). 

Ray-Barruel G. Editorial. Vascular Access, 2018. April 4(1)

Marsh N, Larsen E, Genzel J, Mihala G, Ullman A, Kleidon T, Cadigan S, Rickard CM. A novel integrated dressing to secure peripheral intravenous catheters in an adult acute hospital: a pilot randomised controlled trial 2018. 19:596.

Marsh N, Webster J, Larsen E, Genzel J, Cooke M, Mihala G, Cadigan S, Rickard CM. Expert versus generalist peripheral intravenous catheter insertion: A pilot randomised controlled. 2018. 19:564.

Cooke, M. (2018). PIV Care: What you do (or don't do) matters to patients. InScope, Spring' p56.

Choden J, Carr PJ, Brock AR, Esterman A. Factors associated with difficult peripheral intravenous cannulation among pediatric patients at tertiary hospitals in Bhutan. A multi-centre study. Journal of Vascular Access. 2018 DOI: 10.1177/1129729818792826

Moureau NL, Carr PJ. Vessel Health and Preservation: a model and clinical pathway for using vascular access devices. British Journal of Nursing. 2018 Apr 26;27(8):S28-35

Piper., R, Carr PJ., Kelsey L., Bulmer A., Keogh S., Doyle B. Towards a better understanding of the mechanistic causes of peripheral intravenous catheter failure: a parametric computational study. Scientific Reports- Nature. 2018 8(1) 

Ullman AJ, Dargaville TR, Rickard CM. Tissue adhesive and chlorhexidine gluconate interaction: Implications for vascular access device securement. Letter to the editor. The Journal of Vascular Access 1-2. First published Sept 25 2018. 


Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching and Research Group
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