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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Jun;32(6):579-83. doi: 10.1086/660099.

Peripheral venous catheter-related Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia.

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Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

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  • Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Jul;32(7):735.



Better understand the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of peripheral venous catheter (PVC)-related Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia.


Retrospective study of PVC-related S. aureus bacteremias in adult patients from July 2005 through March 2008. A point-prevalence survey was performed January 9, 2008, on adult inpatients to determine PVC utilization; patients with a PVC served as a cohort to assess risk factors for PVC-related S. aureus bacteremia.


Tertiary care teaching hospital.


Twenty-four (18 definite and 6 probable) PVC-related S. aureus bacteremias were identified (estimated incidence density, 0.07 per 1,000 catheter-days), with a median duration of catheterization of 3 days (interquartile range, 2-6). Patients with PVC-related S. aureus bacteremia were significantly more likely to have a PVC in the antecubital fossa (odds ratio [OR], 6.5), a PVC placed in the emergency department (OR, 6.0), or a PVC placed at an outside hospital (P = .005), with a longer duration of catheterization (P < .001). These PVCs were significantly less likely to have been inserted in the hand (OR, 0.23) or placed on an inpatient medical unit (OR, 0.17). Mean duration of antibiotic treatment was 19 days (95% confidence interval, 15-23 days); 42% (10/24) of cases encountered complications. We estimate that there may be as many as 10,028 PVC-related S. aureus bacteremias yearly in US adult hospitalized inpatients.


PVC-related S. aureus bacteremia is an underrecognized complication. PVCs inserted in the emergency department or at outside institutions, PVCs placed in the antecubital fossa, and those with prolonged dwell times are associated with such infections.

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