Study Finds Simple Steps Reduce CV Catheter Infections by 66%

Simple and inexpensive steps taken by 108 intensive care unit teams reduced infections related to central venous catheters by 66% in Michigan hospitals, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The dramatic results reported by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine were achieved by nurses and doctors taking a team approach to adhering to safety protocols by following checklists and meeting daily performance goals, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The precautions the teams followed were basic but consistently applied: rigorous hand washing; careful cleaning of the skin around the catheters; use of sterile gowns, masks, and gloves; removing catheters quickly; and avoiding inserting catheters in the groin area. The collaborative approach to following safety guidelines can also be applied to reducing other hospital-acquired infections. “We think this model really helps to advance the science of patient safety,” lead author Peter Pronovost, MD, told the Sun. “It shows what’s possible. We no longer have to accept the infections as inevitable.”

Of ICU patients that develop infections from catheters each year around 35% die as a result. The average cost of treating a patient with a catheter-related infection is $45,000.

The above was an excerpt from, "An Intervention to Decrease Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections in the ICU"
Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., Dale Needham, M.D., Ph.D., Sean Berenholtz, M.D., David Sinopoli, M.P.H., M.B.A., Haitao Chu, M.D., Ph.D., Sara Cosgrove, M.D., Bryan Sexton, Ph.D., Robert Hyzy, M.D., Robert Welsh, M.D., Gary Roth, M.D., Joseph Bander, M.D., John Kepros, M.D., and Christine Goeschel, R.N., M.P.A.