Intravenous literature: Kim, J.S., Holtom, P. and Vigen, C. (2011) Reduction of catheter-related bloodstream infections through the use of a central venous line bundle: Epidemiologic and economic consequences. American Journal of Infection Control. 39(8), p.640-646.
Background – Central venous lines (CVLs) are used extensively in intensive care units (ICUs) but can sometimes lead to catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSIs). This study evaluated a CVL bundleâ€ to see whether the CRBSI rate would decrease, analyze any changes in the flora of CRBSIs, and project any decrease in health care costs.
Methods – The CVL bundle was implemented on all patients admitted to the ICU starting January 2008. Data from CRBSI rates from 2006 and 2007 were pooled to compare the intervention. A Poisson analysis generated a relative risk reduction. Determination of costs were made by taking the excess length of stay multiplied by other costs (supplies, medications, cost of replacement of CVL) at our institution.
Results – Overall infection rates decreased with an improvement in CRBSIs in all ICUs that participated. Although the proportion of gram-negative organisms did not change significantly, there was a decrease in the proportion of gram-positive infections (P = .05) and an increase in fungal infections (P = .04). The total excess cost per organism was determined by the following: total excess cost = excess length of stay + replacement of CVL + drug administration + antibiotic cost. The weighted excess cost took the total excess cost times a correction factor based on organism frequency. The total excess cost of any given CRBSI is approximately $32,254.
Conclusion – Preventing CRBSIs can improve patient care while reducing hospital stays, costs, and possible mortality. CVL bundles are fairly easy to perform with reproducible results.