Ethanol versus heparin locks for the prevention of central venous catheter-associated bloodstream infections

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“This study aimed to compare prospectively heparinized saline with 70% ethanol locks using 2h dwell time in patients with tunnelled CVCs.” Worth et al (2014).

Reference:

Worth, L.J., Slavin, M.A., Heath, S., Szer, J. and Grigg, A.P. (2014) Ethanol versus heparin locks for the prevention of central venous catheter-associated bloodstream infections: a randomized trial in adult haematology patients with Hickman devices. Journal of Hospital Infection. July 2nd. .

Abstract:

The effectiveness of ethanol locks for prevention of central venous catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) in adult haematology patients has not been thoroughly evaluated. This study aimed to compare prospectively heparinized saline with 70% ethanol locks using 2h dwell time in patients with tunnelled CVCs. In saline (N = 43) and ethanol (N = 42) groups, CLABSI rates were 6.0 [95% confidence interval (CI): 3.4-9.8] and 4.1 (95% CI: 1.9-7.7) per 1000 CVC days, respectively (P = 0.42). In the ethanol group, two exit-site infections and one tunnel/pocket infection were observed. Reduction in device-associated infection was not achieved with prophylactic 70% ethanol locks in patients with haematological malignancy and tunnelled CVCs.

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