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BACKGROUND: Central venous catheters are crucial devices in the care of hospitalized children, both in and out of critical care units, but the concomitant risk of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) affects 15,000 Americans annually. In 2012, CLABSI rates varied among units from 6.8/1,000 to 1.0/1,000 in a 109-bed children’s service within NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC; New York City), a 1,069-bed tertiary care academic medical center.

In response to variation in central line-related practices and infection prevention rates, a CLABSI Prevention Core Team began an effort to standardize central venous catheter (CVC) care across all pediatric units (ICU and non-ICU). Momentum in this quality improvement (QI) work was interrupted when Superstorm Sandy shuttered the flagship hospital, but the relatively decreased clinical load provided a “downtime” opportunity to address CLABSI prevention.

METHODS: The first phase of the collaborative effort, Booster 1, Planning/Initial Phase: Development of a Pediatric Central Venous Catheter Working Group, was followed by Booster 2, Maintenance/Sustaining Phase: Transitioning for Sustainability and Adopting Model for Improvement.

RESULTS: Data in the subsequent 21 months after the temporary closure of the facility (January 2013-September 2014) showed an increase in maintenance bundle reliability. The inpatient CLABSI rate for patients < 18 years decreased from an annual rate of 2.7/1,000 line days (2012) to 0.6/1,000 line days (2013) to 0.5/1,000 line days as of August 2014. There was a decrease in pediatric CLABSI events and no significant change in line days.

CONCLUSIONS: Key elements contributing to initial success with evolving QI capacity and resources were likely multi-factorial, including staff and leadership engagement, culture change, consistent guidelines, and accountability by individuals and by our multidisciplinary core team.


Rosenberg, R.E., Devins, L., Geraghty, G., Bock, S., Dugan, C.A., Transou, M., Phillips, M. and Lighter-Fisher, J. (2015) Engaging Frontline Staff in Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Prevention Practice in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. 41(10), p.462-1.

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