Low Adherence to Guidelines for Prevention of Catheter Infections

Prevention of Catheter Infections
Prevention of Catheter Infections

(HealthDay News) — Many health care providers don't follow guidelines meant to reduce the risk of infection from arterial catheter placement in intensive care unit patients, according to research published online August 7 in Critical Care Medicine.

The survey of 1,265 health care providers found that only 44% followed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations during insertion. Fifteen percent used full barrier precautions, while 39% of participants reported that they would support mandatory use of full barrier precautions during arterial catheter insertion. The participants' responses were anonymous.

"Barrier precautions are employed inconsistently by critical care clinicians across the nation, and such individuals underestimate the infection risks posed by arterial catheters," study coauthor Leonard Mermel, DO, medical director of the epidemiology and infection control department at the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, said in a hospital news release. "Every effort should be made to prevent such infections since they lead to increased cost, length of stay, and morbidity."

"Bloodstream infections are largely preventable, and if the survey results mirror the clinical practice in the United States, there's work to be done in reducing risk of such infections," corresponding author Andrew Levinson, MD, MPH, of Brown University in Providence, RI, said in the news release.

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