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Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2013 Winter;24(4):185-90.

Reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infection rates in a neonatal intensive care unit after implementation of a multidisciplinary evidence-based quality improvement collaborative: A four-year surveillance.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.


in English, French


The use of central venous catheters has permitted lifesaving treatment for critically ill neonates; however, the attributable mortality rate for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) has been estimated to be between 4% and 20%. In 2006/2007, the authors' neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) had a CLABSI rate that was nearly twofold higher than that reported by other Canadian NICUs.


To implement a quality improvement collaborative to reduce the incidence of neonatal CLABSI.


A retrospective observational study was performed to compare CLABSI in neonates admitted to the authors' level III NICU between August 2007 and March 2011. The entire study period was divided into four time periods to evaluate secular trends. A comprehensive catheter-related bloodstream infection prevention initiative was implemented in August 2007. The initiatives included staff education, standardization of skin preparation protocol, introduction of new antiseptic agents, implementation of central catheter insertion and maintenance checklists, reinforcement of the use of maximal sterile barrier precautions, and revision of the central catheter configuration and maintenance protocols.


The median CLABSI rate of 7.9 per 1000 catheter days at the beginning of the study (period 1 [August 2007 to June 2008]) gradually decreased over the entire study period (P=0.034): period 2 (July 2008 to May 2009), 3.3 per 1000 catheter days; period 3 (June 2009 to April 2010), 2.6 per 1000 catheter days; and period 4 (May 2010 to March 2011), 2.2 per 1000 catheter days.


A multidisciplinary evidence-based quality improvement collaborative resulted in a significant reduction in the CLABSI rate. Continuous quality improvement measures are required to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections among low-birth-weight infants.


Bloodstream infection; Central line; Neonate

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