Up to 64% of blood stream infections (BSI) are caused by indwelling vascular catheters (HPSC,2012)


Bloodstream infections cause considerable morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. While not all are preventable, those caused by indwelling vascular catheters such as peripheral or central vascular catheters are. Presence of a CVC or PVC causes 64% of Blood stream infections – All preventable.


  • Correct management and care of these devices is essential in ensuring patients are not put at increased of HCAI.
  • Cleaning the hubs and ports using 2% Chlorhexidine in 70% Alcohol is an essential part of the care of intravascular devices (IV Devices) and a requirement in reducing infections related to IV Devices.
  • Changing hubs and ports and continuous infusions every 96 hours
  • Monitor insertion sites carefully – Check for evidence of infiltration or extravasation at every shift change
  • Discarding all intermittent infusion lines immediately after use
  • Keeping the site covered with a semi permiable dressing
  • Scrupulous hand hygiene practices are essential if we are to prevent contamination of hubs, ports lines and insertion sites.

  1. Up to 64% of blood stream infections are caused by indwelling vascular catheters
  2. 49% of patients in acute hospitals have an invasive device in situ (HPSC, 2012)

  1. 82,000 catheter related bloodstream infections in intensive care units annually in the US alone
  2. 28,000 deaths attributable to Blood stream infections in the US each year

  • Each blood stream infection has been estimated to cost about $45,000 (£28,000; €31,000).
  • One blood stream infection increases average length of stay in hospital by a mean of 12 days (MAKI, 2002).

For further information read our: Intravascular Access Guidelines

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