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J Hosp Infect. 1992 Oct;22(2):109-16.

A new approach to the management of Broviac catheter infection.

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Department of Oncology, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Dublin, Ireland.


Infection continues to be a major complication of the use of indwelling venous catheters. In an attempt to avoid removal of the catheter and to minimize the systemic side-effects of antibiotics, the potential value of in-situ treatment of confirmed Broviac catheter infection was assessed in carefully selected patients attending an oncology unit. Fourteen episodes from 11 children were included in the study. A variety of organisms were encountered. Infective episodes were divided into two categories: (a) those occurring in patients with negative peripheral blood cultures and neutrophil count greater than 1.5 x 10(9) l-1 which were treated only by local instillation of heparinized antibiotic 8-hourly for 7-14 days (N = 8); (b) those occurring simultaneously with positive peripheral blood culture (or peripheral blood culture not performed) regardless of neutrophil count, or infection restricted to Broviac catheter but with a neutrophil count of less than 1.5 x 10(9) l-1; these were treated, with one exception, as above with the addition of systemic antibiotics (N = 6). Treatment was successful in 100% of infective episodes with negative cultures achieved between 5 and 12 days. Catheters remained in use a mean of 118 days following treatment of infection. This approach has obvious advantages but requires careful patient selection and monitoring. It prolongs the catheter life, obviates the need for systemic antibiotics for a local infection, and with appropriate instruction to parents and family practitioner, treatment may be administered on an outpatient basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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