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Anaesthesia. 1996 Nov;51(11):1018-20.

Central venous line sepsis in the intensive care unit. A study comparing antibiotic coated catheters with plain catheters.

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Intensive Care Unit, St James's University Hospital, Leeds.

Erratum in

  • Anaesthesia 1997 Feb;52(2):192.


A randomized controlled clinical trial was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic bonded lines in the reduction of central venous catheter infection. One hundred and seventy-six plain and bonded catheters were inserted into one hundred and ten patients in an intensive care unit, many of whom were admitted with evidence of sepsis. The catheters used in the study group, which had been pre-treated by the manufacturers with the cationic surfactant tridodecylmethylammonium chloride, were bonded with vancomycin 1 g made up in 10 ml of water immediately prior to insertion. The catheters used in the control group were neither pre-treated nor bonded with vancomycin. Eighty percent of control group catheters were infected compared with 62% of study catheters (p = 0.01). The most common organism isolated was coagulase negative staphylococcus. We conclude that antibiotic bonding can reduce central venous catheter infection even in a patient population with a high incidence of sepsis.

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