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.