Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

A central line is a tube that goes into a large vein of a patient's body – usually chest or neck – to quickly deliver blood, fluid or medication to a patient. If the central line or area around it gets dirty, germs can enter the patient's bloodstream and cause infection.The reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infections is a primary goal of Akron Children's Hospital. 

Central line bloodstream infections can make patients very sick, and lead to significant medical costs. 

As part of our infection control program, we routinely track the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections that occur in our critical care units.

NICU Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Rate

NICU Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Rate

What we measure and why

Newly born infants in general, and premature infants in particular, are at a higher risk for bloodstream infections because of immature immune systems, poor skin integrity, repeated invasive procedures, and exposure to numerous caregivers. It’s estimated that each neonatal bloodstream infection costs about $35,000 and adds about 2 weeks to a baby’s hospital stay.

How do we measure?

We benchmark our central line infection rates using the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network rates. The infection rate is the number of infections per 1,000 days the patient received central line treatment. Our goal is to have zero central line-associated infections.

In 2011, Akron Children's NICU received the Sustained Improvement Award for Achievements in Eliminating Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections. The award was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Healthcare Quality and the Critical Care Societies Collaborative.

We earned this recognition for having a CA bloodstream infection rate that is more than 15% below the international NICU average for the most at-risk babies treated. Our infection rate for all infants was 3.4% compared to a 4.7% international average, and 11.2% for the most at-risk babies compared to a 22.6% international average.

What are we doing to improve?

Akron Children's Hospital participates in the NACHRI Bloodstream Infection Initiative, which is a collaborative among children's hospitals to reduce the number of central line infections. One goal of this initiative is to avoid the use of central lines whenever possible.

If a central line is needed, then it is placed within the most antiseptic conditions possible. When an infection does occur, we do a thorough analysis to determine the cause of infection.

 

PICU Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Rate

PICU Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Rate

How do we measure?

We benchmark our central line infection rates using the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network rates. The infection rate is the number of infections per 1,000 days the patient received central line treatment. Our goal is to have zero central line-associated infections.

 

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Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
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