Impact of alcohol-impregnated port protectors and needleless neutral pressure connectors on central line–associated bloodstream infections and contamination of blood cultures in an inpatient oncology unit


      A major risk factor for the development of bloodstream infection is the presence of a central venous catheter (CVC), especially in immunocompromised patients. CVC hub contamination is a risk factor for central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI).


      This observational before–after trial in a tertiary care hospital's oncology unit included adult patients with a CVC. During the intervention period, the practice of central line hub care was changed from cleaning with alcohol wipes to using alcohol-impregnated port protectors. To accommodate the protectors, the needless hubs were changed to a neutral pressure connector. The intervention period (January-July 2010) was compared with a historical control (January-December 2009).


      A total of 3,005 central line-days and 1 CLABSI (a rate of 0.3 infections/1,000 central line-days) were documented during the intervention period, compared with 6,851 central line-days and 16 CLABSIs (2.3 infections/1,000 central line-days) during the control period (relative risk, 0.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-1.07; P = .03). The rate of contaminated blood cultures (CBCs) from central lines was 2.5% (17 of 692) during the control period, but only 0.2% (1 of 470) during the intervention period (relative risk, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01-0.65; P = .002).


      The implementation of alcohol-impregnated port protectors and needleless neutral pressure connectors significantly reduced the rates of CLABSIs and CBCs in our oncology patient population.

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