Background: Insertion of a central venous access device (CVAD) allows clinicians to easily access the circulation of a patient to administer life-saving interventions. Due to their invasive nature, CVADs are prone to complications such as bacterial biofilm production and colonization, catheter-related bloodstream infection, occlusion, and catheter-related venous thrombosis. A CVAD is among the most common interventions for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), exposing this vulnerable population to the risk of nosocomial infection and catheter occlusion. The current standard of care involves the use of normal saline as a catheter locking solution for central venous catheters (CVCs) and peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines, and a citrate lock for hemodialysis catheters. Saline offers little prophylactic measures against catheter complications. Four percent of tetrasodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) fluid (marketed as KiteLock Sterile Locking Solution™) is non-antibiotic, possesses antimicrobial, anti-biofilm, and anti-coagulant properties, and is approved by Health Canada as a catheter locking solution. As such, it may be a superior CVAD locking solution than the present standard of care lock in the ICU patient population.
Methods: Our team proposes to fill this knowledge gap by performing a multi-center, cluster-randomized, crossover trial evaluating the impact of 4% tetrasodium EDTA on a primary composite outcome of the incidence rate of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), catheter occlusion leading to removal, and use of alteplase to resolve catheter occlusion compared to the standard of care. The study will be performed at five critical care units.
Discussion: If successful, the results of this study can serve as evidence for a shift of standard of care practices to include EDTA locking fluid in routine CVAD locking procedures. Completion of this study has the potential to improve CVAD standard of care to become safer for patients, as well as provides an opportunity to decrease strain on healthcare budgets related to treating preventable CVAD complications. Success and subsequent implementation of this intervention in the ICU may also be extrapolated to other patient populations with heavy CVAD use including hemodialysis, oncology, parenteral nutrition, and pediatric patient populations. On a global scale, eradicating biofilm produced by antibiotic-resistant bacteria may serve to lessen the threat of “superbugs” and contribute to international initiatives supporting the termination of antibiotic overuse.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04548713, registered on September 9th, 2020.Reference:
Ornowska M, Wong H, Ouyang Y, Mitra A, White A, Willems S, Wittmann J, Reynolds S. Control of Line Complications with KiteLock (CLiCK) in the critical care unit: study protocol for a multi-center, cluster-randomized, double-blinded, crossover trial investigating the effect of a novel locking fluid on central line complications in the critical care population. Trials. 2022 Aug 30;23(1):719. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06671-5. PMID: 36042488; PMCID: PMC9425798.