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Crit Care. 2004 Jun;8(3):157-62. Epub 2003 Sep 29.

Clinical review: new technologies for prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections.

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  • 12nd Infectious Diseases Unit, Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.


Intravascular catheters have become essential devices for the management of critically and chronically ill patients. However, their use is often associated with serious infectious complications, mostly catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI), resulting in significant morbidity, increased duration of hospitalization, and additional medical costs. The majority of CRBSIs are associated with central venous catheters (CVCs), and the relative risk for CRBSI is significantly greater with CVCs than with peripheral venous catheters. However, most CVC-related infections are preventable, and different measures have been implemented to reduce the risk for CRBSI, including maximal barrier precautions during catheter insertion, catheter site maintenance, and hub handling. The focus of the present review is on new technologies for preventing infections that are directed at CVCs. New preventive strategies that have been shown to be effective in reducing risk for CRBSI, including the use of catheters and dressings impregnated with antiseptics or antibiotics, the use of new hub models, and the use of antibiotic lock solutions, are briefly described.

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