Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) have long been a serious and often life-threatening problem that has plagued patients and healthcare institutions for decades. Despite increased awareness and newer evidence-based strategies for prevention, the consistent, sustained reduction of CLABSIs remains elusive for many institutions.
CLABSIs occur when bacteria enter the bloodstream through the intravascular catheters used to deliver medication, blood, and nutrition to patients. Not only do these infections result in about 30,000 deaths a year in the U. S. alone, but their socioeconomic impact is significant. CLABSIs require additional treatments at substantial additional costs and often have a lasting negative impact on the many patients who survive them. In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the estimated cost of a single CLABSI to be $29,156, with CLABSIs resulting in a total of $2.68 billion in extra costs annually. In addition, CLABSIs often lead to extended illnesses that for patients can result in a loss of income and a diminished quality of life.
A Toolkit for Healthcare Professionals
Earlier this year, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Infusion Nurses Society, and the Association for Vascular Access joined forces to launch a new website called I Believe in Zero CLABSIs, aimed specifically at eliminating CLABSIs.
Designed as a toolkit for healthcare professionals and developed through a collaboration of leading experts, the website is part of APIC’s “I Believe in Zero CLABSIs” campaign and offers a variety of educational materials, including webinars, advice from leading experts, and guidance documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other authorities.
The site also provides access to APIC’s Guide to the Elimination of Catheter-related Bloodstream Infections—a detailed 58-page resource authored and reviewed by experts in infection prevention, vascular access, and infusion nursing that incorporates evidence-based findings into practical strategies for eliminating CLABSIs.
The website also offers a number of other resources for healthcare professionals, including:
- instructions on how to insert a central line catheter properly
- information on conducting surveillance for possible infections
- case studies
- advice on how to promote the work culture changes that are necessary at hospitals and outpatient centers to prevent and ultimately eliminate CLABSIs
- a 20-question quiz to test healthcare professionals’ knowledge on proper insertion of a central line.
For more information about preventing central line infections, check out Mosby’s Essential Nursing CE lesson – “Central Venous Access Infection.”