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Am J Infect Control. 2012 Apr;40(3):221-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.04.008. Epub 2011 Aug 6.

Epidemiology of central line-associated bloodstream infections in Quebec intensive care units: a 6-year review.

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Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.



The burden of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) in Canadian intensive care units (ICUs) is not well established. The present study aimed to describe CLABSI epidemiology in Quebec ICUs during 2003-2009.


The study population was a retrospective dynamic cohort of 58 ICUs that participated in the Surveillance Provinciale des Infections Nosocomiales program during 2003-2009. We calculated annual CLABSI incidence rates (IRs), central venous catheter (CVC) utilization ratios, and case-fatality proportions, and described the pathogens involved. We analyzed data using descriptive statistics and standardized incidence ratios.


A total of 891 CLABSIs were identified during 446,137 CVC-days. In 2003-2009, CLABSI IRs were 1.67 CLABSI/1,000 CVC-days in adult ICUs, 2.20 CLABSIs/1,000 CVC-days in pediatric ICUs, and 4.40 CLABSIs/1,000 CVC-days in neonatal ICUs. Since 2007, CLABSI IRs in adult, pediatric and neonatal ICUs have decreased by 11%, 50%, and 18%, respectively. Pediatric ICUs had the highest CVC utilization ratio (median, 0.61; interquartile range, 0.57-0.66). Coagulase-negative staphylococci caused 53% of the CLABSIs. The proportion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus declined from 70% to <40% after 2006.


CLABSIs result in a considerable burden of illness in Quebec ICUs. However, CLABSI IRs have decreased since 2007, and the proportion of methicillin-resistant S aureus has remained <40% since 2006. Continuous surveillance is essential to determine whether these changes are sustainable.

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