Prevention of central line infection


Intravenous literature: Casey, A.L. and Elliott, T.S.J. (2010) Prevention of central venous catheter-related infection: update. British Journal of Nursing. 19(2), p. 78 – 87.


Central venous catheters (CVCs) are an essential part of modern-day healthcare, but infections associated with these devices continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality. There are many approaches for the prevention of CVC-related infection and these are outlined in national guidelines. The Department of Health Saving Lives campaign has developed a care-bundle for the prevention of CVC-related infections that focuses on the fundamental actions to be undertaken during the catheter insertion process and ongoing care. If the rate of catheter-related infection remains high despite the implementation of these infection prevention strategies, the use of novel antimicrobial technologies and practices may be considered. These include CVCs that contain antimicrobial agents, such as antiseptics or antibiotics, needleless intravenous (IV) access devices coated with silver and/or chlorhexidine, IV dressings incorporating chlorhexidine, and the use of antimicrobial catheter lock solutions, such as antibiotics, chelators or ethanol. This article outlines the different types of CVCs available, the risk of infection associated with their use and established and novel measures for prevention of these infections


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