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December 21, 1994

Nosocomial Bloodstream Infections in the Critically III

Author Affiliations

Akron General Medical Center Akron, Ohio

JAMA. 1994;272(23):1819-1820. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520230029022

To the Editor.  —In the article by Dr Pittet and colleagues,1 approximately 20% of the time the cause of nosocomial bloodstream infection was infection of intravenous (IV) lines. To better understand the study's impact, we need to know the duration of each of these 20 lines and whether the authors had a standard time of replacement of these lines that could have contributed to their being the cause of bacteremia. Were any of the IV line sites kept in place too long and could infection have been prevented through replacement or removal?Other investigators have suggested that nosocomial bloodstream infections from IV lines cause increased hospital stay, morbidity and mortality, and serious economic consequences, but can be reduced through diligent catheter care and replacement.2

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