Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
|Chemotherapy Through the Bloodstream|
|A central line catheter can be used to deliver chemotherapy.|
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- Having a catheter for a long time
- Having a catheter that is not coated with an antimicrobial—a substance that kills bacteria
- Having a catheter inserted into a vein in the thigh
- Having a weakened immune system
- Being in the intensive care unit
- Having an infection elsewhere in the body or skin
- Fast heart rate
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness at the catheter site
- Drainage from catheter site
- Blood tests and cultures
- Urine tests
- Sputum tests
- Antibiotics—Antibiotics are medications used to treat an infection. The kind of antibiotic you will be given depends on which bacteria is found in your blood.
- Central line care—Often, the central line catheter will need to be removed and replaced by a new catheter.
At the Hospital
- Ask the staff to take every precaution to prevent an infection.
- Tell the staff right away if the bandage needs to be changed or if the site is red or sore.
- Ask everyone entering your hospital room to wash their hands. Do not allow visitors to touch your catheter.
- Follow all instructions concerning your central line.
Learn how to take care of your catheter. Follow these general guidelines:
- Follow specific instructions about showering and bathing.
- Before touching the catheter, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer. Wear gloves when touching the area.
- Change bandages as directed.
- Wash the catheter caps with an antiseptic.
- Do not allow anyone to touch the catheter or the tube.
- Check the insertion site daily for signs of infection, such as redness and swelling.
- Call your doctor if you think you have an infection.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Society of Critical Care Medicine http://www.sccm.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Safer Healthcare Now! http://www.saferhealthcarenow.ca
Central venous catheter. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Central venous catheterization. American Thoracic Society website. Available at: http://www.thoracic.org/clinical/critical-care/patient-information/icu-devices-and-procedures/central-venous-catheterization.php. Accessed August 8, 2013.
FAQs: Catheter-associated bloodstream infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/bsi/BSI%5Ftagged.pdf. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Marschall J, Mermel LA, et al. Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute care hospitals. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008;29 Suppl 1:S22-S30.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -