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Smith RN, Nolan JP. Central venous catheters. BMJ. 2013; 347

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Hightower HB, Young JA, Thomas J Reduction of central-line–associated bloodstream infections in a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit through simulation education. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2022; 7:(6)

Milstone AM, Reich NG, Advani S Catheter dwell time and CLABSIs in neonates with PICCs: a multicenter cohort study. Pediatrics. 2013; 132:(6)e1609-e1615

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Chamblee TB, Patton LJ, Young VB, Marusich J, Bowens CD, Miles DK. Reducing central line-associated bloodstream infection in contaminated central venous catheters: case studies of a pediatric contamination guideline. Br J Nurs. 2021; 30:(19)S24-S29

Umscheid CA, Mitchell MD, Doshi JA, Agarwal R, Williams K, Brennan PJ. Estimating the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are reasonably preventable and the related mortality and costs. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011; 32:(2)101-114

Goudie A, Dynan L, Brady PW, Rettiganti M. Attributable cost and length of stay for central line-associated blood-stream infections. Pediatrics. 2014; 133:(6)e1525-e1532

Schulman J, Stricof R, Stevens TP Statewide NICU central-line-associated bloodstream infection rates decline after bundles and checklists. Pediatrics. 2011; 127:(3)436-444

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Wei AE, Markert RJ, Connelly C, Polenakovik H. Reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infections in a large acute care hospital in Midwest United States following implementation of a comprehensive central line insertion and maintenance bundle. J Infect Prev. 2021; 22:(5)186-193

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Guarding the central venous access device: a new solution for an old problem

26 October 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 19



CLABSIs are a major concern in both the adult and pediatric patient population.

Contamination of catheter hubs is a common cause of CLABSI.

A novel, transparent line guard protects CVAD hubs from gross contamination.

Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) are a serious and potentially deadly complication in patients with a central venous access device (CVAD). CVADs play an essential role in modern medicine, serving as lifelines for many patients. To maintain safe and stable venous access, infection prevention bundles are used to help protect patients from complications such as CLABSI. Despite most CLABSIs being preventable, rates have been on the rise, often disproportionately impacting critically ill children. New solutions are needed to strengthen infection prevention bundles and protect CVADs from pathogen entry at catheter hubs and line connections. A novel, Food and Drug Administration–listed device has become available recently to guard CVADs from sources of gross contamination, addressing this apparent gap in infection prevention technology and practice.

A central venous access device (CVAD) is a type of intravenous catheter commonly used for administering fluids, parenteral nutrition, medications, antibiotics, and blood products. These types of catheters are common in both inpatient and outpatient care and may be used for short-to long-term therapies. Unlike peripheral intravenous (PIV) catheters, which extend only a short distance within the vasculature, CVADs terminate in the superior or inferior vena cava and can stay in place for longer durations. For many diagnoses, CVADs are considered lifelines.1,2

A known risk factor of CVADs are central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), a major cause of morbidity and mortality.3 CLABSI is defined as a laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infection with a CVAD in place greater than 2 days and not related to an infection at another body site.4 It is estimated that one-third of the deaths caused by hospital-acquired infections are a result of CLABSI, and the National Healthcare Safety Network reported that an estimated 30,100 CLABSIs occur in United States acute care facilities each year.5

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