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"The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted CLABSI incidence/rates. Observations from the different studies highlight significant gaps in healthcare associated infections (HCAI) knowledge and practice during the pandemic, and the importance of identifying preventive measures effective in reducing CLABSI, essential to health system resilience for future pandemics" Satta et al (2023).
Impact of COVID-19 on CLABSI rates

Abstract:

Introduction: Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are an important clinical and public health issue, impacted by the purported increase in healthcare-associated infections (including CLABSI) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This review evaluates the impact of COVID-19 on CLABSI at a global level, to determine risk factors, effective preventive measures and microbiological epidemiology.

Methods: A systematic literature review was performed using a PECO framework, with COVID-19 infection as the exposure measure and CLABSI rates as the main outcome of interest, pre- and during the pandemic.

Results: Overall, most studies (17 of N=21) found a significant increase in CLABSI incidence/rates during the pandemic. Four studies showed a reduction (N=1) or no increase (N=3). High workload, redeployment, and ‘overwhelmed’ healthcare staff were recurrent risk-factor themes, likely to have negatively influenced basic infection control practices, including compliance with hand hygiene and line care bundles. Microbiological epidemiology was also impacted, with an increase in enterococcal infections and other pathogens.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted CLABSI incidence/rates. Observations from the different studies highlight significant gaps in healthcare associated infections (HCAI) knowledge and practice during the pandemic, and the importance of identifying preventive measures effective in reducing CLABSI, essential to health system resilience for future pandemics. Central to this are changes to CLABSI surveillance, as reporting is not mandatory in many healthcare systems. An audit tool combined with regular assessments of the compliance with infection control measures and line care bundles also remains an essential step in the prevention of CLABSI.

Reference:

Satta G, Rawson TM, Moore LSP. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) impact on central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI): a systematic review. Infect Prev Pract. 2023 Oct 13;5(4):100313. doi: 10.1016/j.infpip.2023.100313. PMID: 37920796; PMCID: PMC10618700.