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JAMA. 1999 Aug 11;282(6):554-60.

Cost-effectiveness of antiseptic-impregnated central venous catheters for the prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infection.

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Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program and Department of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-7630, USA.



A recent randomized controlled trial and meta-analysis indicated that central venous catheters impregnated with an antiseptic combination of chlorhexidine and silver sulfadiazine are efficacious in reducing the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI); however, the ultimate clinical and economic consequences of their use have not been formally evaluated.


To estimate the incremental clinical and economic outcomes associated with the use of antiseptic-impregnated vs standard catheters.


Decision analytic model using data from randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and case-control studies, as well as safety data from the US Food and Drug Administration.


A hypothetical cohort of hospitalized patients at high risk for catheter-related infections (eg, patients in intensive care units, immunosuppressed patients, and patients receiving total parenteral nutrition) requiring use of a central venous catheter.


Short-term use (2-10 days) of chlorhexidine-silver sulfadiazine-impregnated multilumen central venous catheters and nonimpregnated catheters.


Expected incidence of CR-BSI and death attributable to antiseptic-impregnated and standard catheter use; direct medical costs for both types of catheters.


In the base-case analysis, use of antiseptic-impregnated catheters resulted in a decrease in the incidence of CR-BSI of 2.2% (5.2% for standard vs 3.0% for antiseptic-impregnated catheters), a decrease in the incidence of death of 0.33% (0.78% for standard vs 0.45% for antiseptic-impregnated), and a decrease in costs of $196 per catheter used ($532 for standard vs $336 for antiseptic-impregnated). The decrease in CR-BSI ranged from 1.2% to 3.4%, the decrease in death ranged from 0.09% to 0.78%, and the costs saved ranged from $68 to $391 in a multivariate sensitivity analysis.


Our analyses suggest that use of chlorhexidine-silver sulfadiazine-impregnated central venous catheters in patients at high risk for catheter-related infections reduces the incidence of CR-BSI and death and provides significant saving in costs. Use of these catheters should be considered as part of a comprehensive nosocomial infection control program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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