Rates of bloodstream infections in ICU patients with central lines decreased by 58 percent in 2009 compared to 2001, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The drop represented up to 27,000 lives saved and $1.8 billion in excess health care costs, according to CDC. Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) can kill as many as one in four patients who acquire them.
According to CDC, recent studies have shown that most of these infections can be prevented by following infection control recommendations, which include removing central lines as soon as medically appropriate. In hemodialysis patients, central lines should only be used when other options are unavailable, the agency advises.
The biggest drop was in CLABSIs caused by Staphylococcus aureus (73 percent), followed by Enterococcus (55 percent), Candida (46 percent), and Gram-negative pathogens (Klebsiella, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeuriginosa) (37 percent).
In addition to the ICU findings, the report found that about 60,000 CLABSIs occurred in non-ICU health care settings such as hospital wards and kidney dialysis clinics. About 23,000 of these occurred in non-ICU patients (2009) and about 37,000 occurred in dialysis clinic patients (2008).
“The report findings point to a clear need for action beyond ICUs,” said Denise Cardo, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, in a press release.
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Note: CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee is releasing new guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. See next month’s IDSA News for more information.
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