What is a Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI)? A “central line” is an intravenous catheter that is placed into a large vein in a patient’s neck, chest, arm, or groin and ends near the heart or in a large central vein. It is different than a regular IV catheter. It is used to draw blood, give fluids or medications, and it may be left in place for a long period of time, even for outpatient therapy. Having a central line places a patient at risk for developing an infection unless best practices are performed to prevent it. A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria or other germs enter the blood as part of using this catheter to provide care, by maintaining the catheter, or through the area where it is inserted into the body. A central line-associated bloodstream infection is serious, but often can be successfully treated.
All three BH hospitals worked together to develop an online invasive line procedure note which promotes and documents the use of evidence-based interventions, as well as the pre-procedure time out.
Prevention of central line-associated bloodstream infections include the following best practice bundle measures:
- hand washing before and after inserting the catheter
- selecting the best body location for insertion
- using maximum sterile barrier drapes and attire during the insertion
- using chlorhexidine gluconate and alcohol skin preparation for all patients over 2 months of age
- using antimicrobial impregnated catheter and Chlorhexidine gluconate impregnated dressing
- inserting the lowest number of lumens needed for care
- aseptic management of the lines, tubings and fluids
- changing the catheter only when needed and removing it when it is no longer necessary