Infection prevention and central venous catheters: evidence round-up

By Sarah Chapman // November 27, 2015//Evidently Cochrane Blog

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After the fascinating discussion we had, over 60 of us in a #WeNurses tweetchat, about the latest evidence on when to re-site peripheral venous catheters and whether it is reflected in current practice (catch up on it in this blog if you missed it), I’m turning my attention to central venous catheters (CVCs).

Infection prevention is of huge importance when it comes to vascular access devices. Micro-organisms can get into the bloodstream through the point where the skin has been penetrated and along the outer surface of the catheter, or internally through the catheter and its connectors. Minor infections at the entry site or in device connectors can lead to more serious bloodstream infections. The possible consequences include the whole gamut of infection-related miseries for the patient, including pain, anxiety, delayed treatments and a longer stay in hospital as well as greater demands on resources.

In the UK, the epic3 National Evidence-Based Guidelines for Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections should be informing practice, though I know from our tweetchat that some Trusts have policies that deviate from the recommendations. These guidelines draw on several Cochrane reviews and we also have some new and updated evidence since their publication in 2013. Here’s a round-up of Cochrane evidence. Does your practice reflect it?

Carry on reading via the Evidently Cochrane Blog

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