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CLABSI prevention efforts result in up to 200,000 infections prevented in intensive care units
Date:5/13/2013

CHICAGO (May 13, 2013) New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 200,000 central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) have been prevented among patients in intensive care units (ICUs) since 1990. The study, published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, suggests that this progress is likely related to prevention strategies now common in hospitals across the United States.

CLABSIs are caused when bacteria or yeast enter the bloodstream through a tube called a central line that is placed in a large vein in a patient's neck or chest to give medical treatment. Central lines are commonly used in ICUs and can remain in place for weeks or months. When not put in correctly or kept clean, central lines can become a route for germs to enter the body and cause serious bloodstream infections. CLABSIs result in thousands of deaths and significant excess costs to the U.S. healthcare system, yet research shows that these infections are preventable.

Substantial progress has been made over the past two decades in reducing the number of CLABSIs that occur among patients in ICUs in the U.S. This study, which estimated between 462,000 and 636,000 CLABSIs occurred in non-neonatal ICU patients during 1990-2010, found that reductions in CLABSI rates led to between 104,000 and 198,000 fewer CLABSIs than would have occurred if rates had stayed the same as they were in 1990.

"These findings suggest that technical innovations and dissemination of evidence-based CLABSI prevention practices have likely been effective on a national scale," said Matthew Wise, PhD, lead author of the study. "These successes help bolster perceptions that healthcare-associated infections are preventable."

New technologies have been developed over time to prevent healthcare-associated infections in general
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Contact: Tamara Moore
tmoore@gymr.com
202-745-5114
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Source:Eurekalert

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