Guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections

Am J Infect Control. 2002 Dec;30(8):476-89. doi: 10.1067/mic.2002.129427.


Background: Although many catheter-related bloodstream infections (CR-BSIs) are preventable, measures to reduce these infections are not uniformly implemented.

Objective: To update an existing evidenced-based guideline that promotes strategies to prevent CR-BSIs.

Data sources: The MEDLINE database, conference proceedings, and bibliographies of review articles and book chapters were searched for relevant articles.Studies Included: Laboratory-based studies, controlled clinical trials, prospective interventional trials, and epidemiological investigations.

Outcome measures: Reduction in CR-BSI, catheter colonization, or catheter-related infection.

Synthesis: The recommended preventive strategies with the strongest supportive evidence are education and training of healthcare providers who insert and maintain catheters; maximal sterile barrier precautions during central venous catheter insertion; use of a 2% chlorhexidine preparation for skin antisepsis; no routine replacement of central venous catheters for prevention of infection; and use of antiseptic/antibiotic impregnated short-term central venous catheters if the rate of infection is high despite adherence to other strategies (i.e. education and training, maximal sterile barrier precautions and 2% chlorhexidine for skin antisepsis).

Conclusion: Successful implementation of these evidence-based interventions can reduce the risk for serious catheter-related infection.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous* / methods
  • Child
  • Cross Infection / etiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*