Disinfection caps cut CLABSI cases in half

January 3, 2013

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) dropped by 52 percent when an alcohol-impregnated disinfection cap was used instead of standard scrubbing protocol, according to a new study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

A team of researchers from NorthShore University HealthSystem conducted a study of in order to determine the efficacy of 70 percent alcohol-impregnated disinfection caps over the standard cleaning protocol, which involves scrubbing the catheter hub with an alcohol disinfectant wipe prior to accessing the lines. In a three-phased study, contamination rates among 799 patients sampled from three hospitals declined from a baseline of 12.7 percent using the standard cleaning protocol, to 5.5 percent when the disinfection cap was used, and increased back to 12 percent when the intervention was removed and was reinstated. Infection rates at four hospitals declined from a baseline of 1.43 per 1,000 line days to 0.69 during the intervention, and returned to 1.31 per 1,000 line days when the intervention was suspended.

The researchers estimated that system-wide implementation of the disinfecting caps would prevent 21 CLABSIs and four deaths each year.

A central line-associated bloodstream infection is a serious infection that occurs when germs enter the bloodstream through a catheter (tube) that doctors often place in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests. Contaminated catheter hubs can be a cause of such infections.

"Catheter hub requires a thorough scrub, and compliance varies," state the authors. "The approach of using a continuously applied alcohol-impregnated sponge as a cap on the hub for a standard approach to catheter care may eliminate the problem of teaching healthcare providers one additional disinfection process they need to use as part of their busy patient care schedule."

Explore further: Intensive, hands-on effort reduces bloodstream infections in critically ill patients

More information: "Continuous passive disinfection of catheter hubs prevents contamination and bloodstream infection," by Marc-Oliver Wright, Jackie Tropp, Donna M. Schora, Mary Dillon-Grant, Kari Peterson, Sue Boehm, Ari Robicsek, and Lance R. Peterson appears in the American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 41, Issue 1 (January 2013).

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The 'love hormone' may quiet tinnitus

September 23, 2016

(HealthDay)—People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears—called tinnitus—may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests.

Bile acid uptake inhibitor prevents NASH / fatty liver in mice

September 21, 2016

Drugs that interfere with bile acid recycling can prevent several aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) in mice fed a high-fat diet, scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of ...

New therapeutic target for Crohn's disease

September 20, 2016

Research from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies a promising new target for future drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, published today in Cell Reports, also indicates ...

Mosquitoes, Zika and biotech regulation

September 19, 2016

In a new Policy Forum article in Science, NC State professor Jennifer Kuzma argues that federal authorities are missing an opportunity to revise outdated regulatory processes not fit for modern innovations in biotechnology, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.