Prevention of central venous catheter sepsis: A prospective randomized trial

S. C. Bonawitz, E. J. Hammell, J. R. Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A prospective randomized trial was undertaken to evaluate the influence of routine 72-hour catheter exchange and the use of an implantable collagen cuff in preventing central venous catheter infection in critically ill patients requiring multiple lumen central venous access. Patients were randomized to one of four groups, which determined whether the central venous catheter placed would be removed at 3 or 7 days and whether an implantable collagen cuff would be used or not. Upon removal, cultures of the central line tip, the insertion site, and peripheral blood were obtained. One hundred and fifty-nine catheters were studied in 85 patients during a 14-month period. There were 26 (16.4%) episodes of catheter colonization and four (2.5%) episodes of catheter infection in the entire population. Catheter colonization rates (same organisms cultured from catheter tip and skin site) were 14.5 per cent at 3 days and 18.4 per cent at 7 days. Infection rates (same organism cultured from catheter tip and peripheral blood culture) were 2.4 per cent at 3 days and 2.6 per cent at 7 days. With regard to the use of the collagen cuff, colonization rates were 14.5 per cent with the use of the cuff and 18.1 per cent without the use of the cuff. Infection rates were 5.3 per cent with the use of the cuff and 0 per cent without the use of the cuff. None of these differences reached statistical significance. We conclude that routine 72-hour catheter exchange does not confer an advantage over 7-day catheter exchange in the prevention of central venous catheter infection, and the use of the implantable collagen cuff does not significantly lower central venous catheter infection rates in critically ill patients requiring multiple lumen central venous access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-623
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume57
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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