"CLABSI rate was persistently higher among Black and Hispanic children than their White peers" Willer et al (2022).

Ethnicity and pediatric CLABSI


Background and objectives: Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), eminently preventable nosocomial infections, are a substantial source of morbidity, mortality, and increased resource utilization in pediatric care. Racial or ethnic disparities in health outcomes have been demonstrated across an array of medical specialties and practices in pediatric patients. However, it is unknown whether disparities exist in the rate of CLABSIs. Our objective was to evaluate the trends in racial and ethnic disparities of CLABSIs over the past 5 years.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study using data from Pediatric Health Information System database collected from tertiary children’s hospitals in the United States. Participants included 226 802 children (<18 years) admitted to the emergency department or inpatient ward between 2016 and 2021 who required central venous catheter placement. The primary outcome was risk-adjusted rate of CLABSI, occurring during the same admission, across race and ethnicity.

Results: Of the 226 802 children, 121 156 (53.4%) were White, 40 589 (17.9%) were Black, and 43 374 (19.1%) were Hispanic. CLABSI rate decreased in all racial/ethnic groups over the study period, with the rates being consistently higher in Black (relative risk [RR], 1.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-1.37; P < .01) and Hispanic children (RR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.08-1.26; P < .01) than in White children. There was no statistically significant evidence that gaps in CLABSI rate between racial/ethnic groups narrowed over time.

Conclusions: CLABSI rate was persistently higher among Black and Hispanic children than their White peers. These findings emphasize the need for future exploration of the causes of persistent racial and ethnic disparities in pediatric patients.


Willer BL, Tobias JD, Suttle ML, Nafiu OO, Mpody C. Trends of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections. Pediatrics. 2022 Aug 18:e2021054955. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-054955. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35979730.