Federal health officials have released updated, evidence-based guidelines to prevent intravascular catheter–related bloodstream infections, which are costly and potentially deadly threats to patient safety.
The guidelines indicate that of 250 000 bloodstream infections that occur in US hospitals annually, 80 000 are catheter-related infections that patients contract in intensive care units. Overall, catheter-related bloodstream infections are not linked with increased mortality. But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that central line–associated bloodstream infections in particular have a 12% to 25% mortality rate.
Voelker R. Updated Guidelines Target Reductions in Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections. JAMA. 2011;305(17):1753-1754. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.549