Innovative Strategies for Preventing Central-Line Associated Infections

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Opinion statement

In recent years, healthcare associated infections (HAIs), and central line-associated bloodstream infections in particular (CLABSI), are being viewed as “preventable” events. It has been estimated that up to 70 % of CLABSI episodes may be preventable with the implementation of evidence-based strategies pretending to reach the zero incidence. The most effective procedures, which have demonstrated to reduce significantly CLABSI rates, are preventive bundles, which consists of a set of measures to be carried out during both catheter insertion and maintenance. These measures are mainly the following: implementing continuous education and training of healthcare personnel workers, using maximal sterile barrier precautions during insertion, performing skin disinfection with 2 % alcoholic chlorhexidine, avoiding the femoral site, and removing unnecessary catheters. However, these strategies have been performed mainly in the intensive care units (ICUs) with much less emphasis and efforts in non-ICU wards. There is also a need to introduce other novel strategies to reduce the CLABSI rates such as using catheter lock antiseptic solutions, using antiseptic impregnated sponges and dressings, designating a surveillance nurse to monitor central lines, or keeping a record of the insertion and maintenance procedures using a checklist.