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Br J Nurs. 2006 Jun 22-Jul 12;15(12):650-4.

Central venous catheters: a review of skin cleansing and dressings.

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Vascular Surgery, Luke Ward, Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital, London.


Having central intravenous devices is an indispensable part of the total care for high dependency patients, as they are used for administration of a wide range of intravenous therapies and for haemodynamic monitoring. However, their use is frequently complicated by a variety of local or systemic infections. Therefore, all staff involved in the management of central venous catheters must base their practice on what is agreed in the literature as being effective in reducing the risk of hospital acquired infections. This article offers a literature-based review of the management of central venous catheters, focusing on skin cleansing and dressing types. Proper skin preparation prior to catheter insertion has been shown to be essential in reducing infections.

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