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Anaesthesia. 1999 Sep;54(9):868-72.

Antiseptic-bonded central venous catheters and bacterial colonisation.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Imperial College School of Medicine, Westminster Hospital, 369 Fullham Road, London SW10 9NH, UK.


This study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of chlorhexidine/silver sulphadiazine-bonded catheters on the incidence of colonisation and catheter-related sepsis in critically ill patients. Threehundred and fifty-one catheters were inserted into 228 patients during the study period, 174chlorhexidine/silver sulphadiazine-bonded catheters and 177 standard catheters. Indications for catheter removal were: death, clinical redundancy and clinical evidence of local or systemic infection. All catheter tips were sent to the microbiology laboratory for semiquantitative analysis of bacterial colony count. Seventy-one (40.2%) of the standard catheters and 47 (27.2%) of the antiseptic-bonded catheters were found to be colonised on removal (p < 0.01). Eight cases (4.7%) of catheter-related sepsis were associated with standard catheters and three cases (1.7%) with antiseptic-bonded catheters, however, this reduction was not statistically significant. Our results indicate that the use of antiseptic-bonded catheters in critically ill patients significantly reduces the incidence of bacterial colonisation.

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