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J Perinatol. 2012 Apr;32(4):281-6. doi: 10.1038/jp.2011.91. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Utilizing a line maintenance team to reduce central-line-associated bloodstream infections in a neonatal intensive care unit.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.



To determine the association of a central-line maintenance team on the incidence of central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).


Central line maintenance in the NICU was limited to a line team starting in March 2008. CLABSI rates were determined before (December 2006 to February 2008) and after implementation of the line team ( March 2008 to August 2010) utilizing consistent National Healthcare Safety Network definitions. Rates were calculated by birth weight categories and overall. Data analysis was performed by two-proportion t test using Minitab.


Overall CLABSI decreased by 65% after implementation of the line team. Pre intervention, mean overall CLABSI rate was 11.6 /1000, as compared with 4.0/1000 after intervention (P<0.001). Birth-weight-specific CLABSI rates also decreased significantly. Decreased infection rates were sustained over time.


A line team provided for standardized, consistent central-line maintenance care leading to a significant, sustained decrease in CLABSI in a NICU.

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