Preventing central line sepsis
Infusion therapy is integral to the health professional's role because most patients require some form of infusion therapy while in hospital. With this in mind, robust training and education aligned to clinical standards and evidence-based ‘best’ practice is paramount. Evidence-based guidelines provide comprehensive recommendations for preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) (O'Grady et al, 2011; Loveday et al, 2014).
Recent years have seen significant practice changes in intravenous therapy with the introduction of care bundles, chlorhexidine skin and device cleansing, promotion of effective hand hygiene and aseptic technique. This standardisation of practice, training and education has equipped health professionals with appropriate evidence-based skills and knowledge, with emphasis placed on prevention of HAIs and a reduction in catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) (Blot et al, 2014).
Peripheral vascular access is most commonly used and is associated with low levels of bloodstream infection (O'Grady, 2011). Careful consideration of the associated risks should be made when deeming central venous access (CVA) necessary.
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