Monday, September 30, 2013

Arterial Catheters and Risk of Bloodstream Infection

The prevention of bloodstream infections (BSI) is typically focused on central venous catheters (CVCs).

Arterial catheters are not risk free. Here is a paper recently published in the Journal of Hospital Infection on the risk of catheter related BSI.

The Of 834 arterial catheters studied (3273 catheter-days), 109 (13%) were colonized and 11 caused bacteremia (1.3%, 3.4 per 1000 catheter-days). The majority of catheter-related BSIs were acquired extraluminally from skin of the insertion site (63%). The risk of arterial catheter-related BSI was comparable with that for short-term non-cuffed central venous catheters (2.7%, 5.9 per 1000 CVC-days).

As the most common route of infection is extraluminal, the authors make a persuasive argument for the employment of proven risk reduction interventions used for CVCs, such as chlorhexidine for cutaneous antisepsis and chlorhexidine-impregnated dressings.

I will be at the ID WEEK 2013 in San Francisco for the remainder of the week.

 I will post updates from the conference on this blog.

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