Intravenous news: SunTimes.com report “Two years ago, rates of intravenous tube-related infections at Mount Sinai Hospital were more than double the national average. But by the end of 2009, the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections in the surgical intensive-care unit at the West Side hospital had dropped to zero, an improvement hospital officials attribute to new infection-control measures.
Central-line infections occur when bacteria or other germs enter the bloodstream through intravenous tubes, or catheters. An estimated 250,000 of these infections occur in U.S. hospitals each year, even though they’re easily prevented. Rates tend to be higher in surgical intensive-care units, where critically ill trauma patients have to be treated quickly, leaving little time for proper hand-washing and skin disinfection.
Mount Sinai began revising its infection-prevention strategies in 2008, after administrators became aware of the high rate of central-line infections, said Dr. Nancy Glick, acting chair of infection control. The hospital also hired a new infection-control nurse that year to help look into and implement the changes.
One simple yet effective change was bundling the sterile gowns, drapes, face masks and bonnets needed for surgery together in a single package, so “we’re not wasting time … going to different areas to get the items that we need anymore,” said Michele Mazurek, director of Mount Sinai’s surgical ICU. Similarly, special procedure carts for central lines were assembled to streamline the process of getting catheters and other supplies.”
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