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September 18, 1991

Reduced Intravascular Infection by Antibiotic Bonding

JAMA. 1991;266(11):1514. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470110060031

To the Editor.  —The article by Kamal et al1 concerns an important issue in hospital care: prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections. However, I think that the title of the article and the wording of the "Results" section suggest that the incidence of actual infection was reduced.In this study, the authors claim that bonding of antibiotic to the inner luminal and outer surface of the catheter reduced catheter infection; I think this term is misleading. In the title, abstract, and the body of the article, they repeatedly refer to organisms isolated from catheters as representing infections. In fact, catheters do not become infected, they become contaminated or colonized. People become infected, but there is a conspicuous absence of data demonstrating that infection in the patients in whom these catheters were placed was reduced. Actually, the 13 cases of septicemia in the control group and the 10 in the antibiotic-bonded group