Intravascular catheter bloodstream infections: An effective and sustained hospital-wide prevention program over 8 years

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Objective: To evaluate a hospital-wide surveillance and intervention program introduced to reduce the incidence of bloodstream infections (BSIs) caused by intravascular (IV) catheters. Design, setting and participants: Prospective surveillance of all inpatients and outpatient attendees with positive blood cultures (both hospital-onset and community-onset) at a 500-bed tertiary referral hospital from 1998 to 2005. Interventions: Prompt review of all positive blood cultures with identification of BSIs due to IV catheters and associated preventable factors; weekly team meetings and regular reports to clinical areas, with assistance to implement targeted interventions. Main outcome measure: Number of BSI episodes due to IV catheters per year. Results: There were 491 BSI episodes due to IV catheters, mainly central venous catheters. Episodes per year fell from 110 in 1998 to 48 in 2005 (from 32% of all BSI episodes to 14%; a > 50% reduction). From 1998 to 2005, the rate per 1000 discharges fell from 2.3 to 0.9 (P for trend < 0.0005) and the rate per 1000 patient-days fell from 0.6 to 0.3 (P for trend < 0.0005). Conclusions: Our program was associated with a profound drop in the number of IV catheter-related BSIs per year. Active surveillance and intervention programs can lead to substantial and sustained reductions in these common life-threatening infections.

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Journal Article

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ERA Access