Guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2002 Dec;23(12):759-69. doi: 10.1086/502007.


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

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

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 epidemiologic investigations.

Outcome measures: Reduction in CRBSI, 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 (ie, 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
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacteremia / etiology
  • Bacteremia / prevention & control*
  • Blood Pressure Monitors
  • Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization / instrumentation
  • Catheterization / standards
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / standards
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / standards
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / standards
  • Child
  • Cross Infection / etiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Umbilical Arteries
  • United States