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April 2011
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Updated Guidelines for the Prevention of IV Catheter-Related Infections

Updated guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related bloodstream infections are now available online. Released in April by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), the guidelines were developed by a working group led by scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) along with 14 other professional organizations, including IDSA, which also endorsed the guidelines.

Published in the May 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the guidelines replace those issued in 2002. Major areas of emphasis include:

  • educating and training health care personnel,
  • using maximal sterile barrier precautions during catheter insertion,
  • cleaning skin with chlorhexidine,
  • and avoiding routine replacement of certain catheters.

“Catheter-related bloodstream infections—like many infections in health care—are now seen as largely preventable," said Naomi O'Grady, MD, FIDSA, lead author of the guidelines and medical director of procedures, vascular access, and conscious sedation services at the NIH Clinical Center Critical Care Medicine Department, in a CDC/NIH press release. "Implementation of these critical infection control guidelines is an important benchmark of health care quality and patient safety."

A focus on preventing these infections, and specifically central line-associated blood stream infections, has proven to be effective in improving patient safety, according to CDC. A recent CDC report found that rates of bloodstream infections in ICU patients with central lines decreased by 58 percent in 2009 compared to 2001, representing up to 27,000 lives saved and $1.8 billion in excess health care costs (see March 2011 IDSA News).

Other IDSA guidelines also are available on the Standards, Practice Guidelines, and Statements page of our website.
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