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Te Pū rauemi KOWHEORI-19 COVID-19 resource hub

Support for people working in health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find information about how you can support yourselves and others, including consumers, teams and colleagues which complements and aligns with Ministry of Health resources.

Kia āta kōwhiri Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to reduce harm from unnecessary and low-value tests and treatment.

An image of a peripheral intravenous catheterPIVCs are the most commonly used invasive medical device in health care. They are mainly used for therapeutic purposes such as giving patients medicines, fluids and blood products.

At any time, over half of all patients in Aotearoa New Zealand hospitals will have a PIVC. However, not all PIVCs inserted are used, which places patients at unnecessary risk of infection associated with the device.

Up to half of PIVCs fail due to complications before therapy is completed. These complications include infection, occlusion, infiltration, dislodgement, phlebitis, extravasation, haematoma and air embolism.

Infections associated with a PIVC can be localised or lead to a bloodstream infection, usually caused by the bacterium S. aureus. At least one in four healthcare-associated S. aureus bloodstream infections in Aotearoa New Zealand hospitals are linked to a PIVC.

Complications associated with the use of PIVCs can be reduced by using a range of evidence-based, best-practice measures.

PIVC quality improvement  initiative

The infection prevention and control team at Te Tāhū Hauora is working on a quality improvement initiative to reduce S. aureus bacteraemia associated with a PIVC. 

During May 2023, 55 health clinicians with an interest in reducing PIVC infections attended one of four regional in-person workshops facilitated by Te Tāhū Hauora. The aims of the workshops were to:  

  1. share local PIVC-related quality improvement activity  
  2. identify and understand the factors contributing to PIVC-associated infections in Aotearoa New Zealand 
  3. generate ideas for improvement.  

Scoping work is ongoing for this initiative.

We will provide progress updates via this webpage and the IPC newsletter. 

For any questions, please contact the IPC team at

Last updated: 17th November, 2023