Commonly used catheter's safety tied to patient population

A new study reports that peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) do not reduce the risk of central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in hospitalized patients. PICCs have become one of the most commonly used central venous catheters (CVCs) in healthcare settings since they are considered easier and safer to use, with less risk of CLABSIs. The study, published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, demonstrates that the risk of CLABSI with PICCs is based more on patient factors, rather than the device.

"As the use of PICCs has grown exponentially in vulnerable populations, caution and close evaluation of risks and benefits is warranted when using the device," said Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc, lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Health System. "This research provides novel ideas for advancing both clinical practice and science around the use of these devices."

Chopra and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 23 studies of PICCs to compare the risk of CLABSIs between PICCs and other non-cuffed, non-tunneled (CVCs). The researchers hypothesized that selection of healthier patients in past studies may explain the lower risk of CLABSI observed with PICCs. Their theory was based on the observation that many of the original studies reporting PICC bloodstream infection rates included non-hospitalized patients who are fundamentally different from those in whom CLABSIs usually occur.

The analysis involved 57,250 patients and revealed that hospitalized patients with PICCs were just as likely to develop bloodstream infection when compared with patients with other types of CVCs; however, non-hospitalized patients in outpatient settings appeared to fare better with PICCs than other devices.

The authors suggest adhering to proven to reduce CLABSIs in non-critical care settings with the same drive, intensity, and strategic insights that have been employed in intensive care units. The study also highlights the need for future research assessing the role of novel technologies and practices, such as chlorhexidine-impregnated site dressings and antimicrobial PICCs.

More information: Vineet Chopra, John C. O'Horo, Mary A.M. Rogers, Dennis G. Maki, Nasia Safdar. "The Risk of Bloodstream Infection Associated with Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters Compared with Central Venous Catheters in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 34:9 (September 2013).

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Peripheral venous catheters pose infection risk

May 03, 2011

A new study from Rhode Island Hospital has found that more than one in 10 catheter-related bloodstream infections due to Staph aureus in hospitalized adults are caused by infected peripheral venous catheters (PVC). The study ...

Antibiotics prevent some hospital UTIs

Jun 21, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Urinary tract infections are among the most common infections acquired in hospitals. Most are linked to catheters that drain urine from the bladder, providing a direct route for bacteria ...

Recommended for you

Routines most vital in avoiding Ebola infection: WHO

15 hours ago

Meticulously following stringent routines when putting on and removing protective equipment is more important than the kind of gear health care workers use to ward off Ebola infection, the World Health Organization said Friday.

A look at latest Ebola developments

16 hours ago

No African countries are on the United Nations list of contributors to fight Ebola. With few exceptions, African governments and institutions are offering only marginal support as the continent faces its ...

Liberia opens one of largest Ebola treatment centers

16 hours ago

Remembering those who have died in the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak, Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia on Friday amid hopes that the disease is ...

User 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.