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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2003 Dec;24(12):916-25.

Effect of nurse staffing and antimicrobial-impregnated central venous catheters on the risk for bloodstream infections in intensive care units.

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  • 1Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



Defining risk factors for central venous catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infections (BSIs) is critical to establishing prevention measures, especially for factors such as nurse staffing and antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs.


We prospectively monitored CVCs, nurse staffing, and patient-related variables for CVC-associated BSIs among adults admitted to eight ICUs during 2 years.


A total of 240 CVC-associated BSIs (2.8%) were identified among 4,535 patients, representing 8,593 CVCs. Antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs reduced the risk for CVC-associated BSI only among patients whose CVC was used to administer total parenteral nutrition (TPN, 2.6 CVC-associated BSIs per 1,000 CVC-days vs no TPN, 7.5 CVC-associated BSIs per 1,000 CVC-days; P = .006). Among patients not receiving TPN, there was an increase in the risk of CVC-associated BSI in patients cared for by "float" nurses for more than 60% of the duration of the CVC. In multivariable analysis, risk factors for CVC-associated BSIs were the use of TPN in non-antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs (P = .0001), patient cared for by a float nurse for more than 60% of CVC-days (P = .0019), no antibiotics administered to the patient within 48 hours of insertion (P = .0001), and patient unarousable for 70% or more of the duration of the CVC (P = .0001). Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) were associated with a lower risk for CVC-associated BSI (P = .0001).


Antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs reduced the risk of CVC-associated BSI by 66% in patients receiving TPN. Limiting the use of float nurses for ICU patients with CVCs and the use of PICCs may also reduce the risk of CVC-associated BSI.

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