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Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Aug 1;51(3):335-41. doi: 10.1086/653942.

Preventing catheter-related bloodstream infections outside the intensive care unit: expanding prevention to new settings.

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  • 1Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


With the growing recognition of the preventability of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs), reducing the number of CRBSIs acquired in health care facilities has become an important patient safety goal. To date, most prevention efforts have been conducted in intensive care units (ICUs); however, many central venous catheters (CVCs) are found outside the ICU, and rates of catheter-associated bloodstream infections in these settings appear to be similar to rates of these infections in ICUs. CVCs are also used in patients who primarily receive their care as outpatients, including those requiring hemodialysis, undergoing treatment for malignancies, and receiving parenteral nutrition. In some of these patients, CVCs might be used for extended periods, prolonging the patient's time at risk for CRBSIs and highlighting the potential need to look beyond insertion-based interventions to prevent infections. To meet the goal of reducing the number of all CRBSIs associated with health care, further attention on CRBSIs occurring outside the ICU is needed; however, this effort will require a better understanding of the epidemiology and prevention of these infections.

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