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Multicenter Study
. 2004 May;32(3):135-41.
doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2003.12.002.

Prospective Study of the Impact of Open and Closed Infusion Systems on Rates of Central Venous Catheter-Associated Bacteremia

Multicenter Study

Prospective Study of the Impact of Open and Closed Infusion Systems on Rates of Central Venous Catheter-Associated Bacteremia

Victor D Rosenthal et al. Am J Infect Control. .


Objective: We sought to ascertain the effect of switching from an open infusion system to a closed system on rates and sequelae of central venous catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infection in the intensive care department (ICU) of 2 hospitals in Argentina.

Methods: A prospective, controlled, time-series, cohort trial was undertaken in adult patients admitted to 4 level-III adult ICUs in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who had a CVC in place for at least 24 hours. Rates of CVC-associated bloodstream infection during a period of active surveillance with an open system (baseline; externally vented, semirigid, noncollapsible, 1-port plastic bottles) were compared with rates after switching to a closed system (intervention; nonvented, collapsible, 2-port plastic bags).

Results: Between August 1999 and March 2002, 992 patients in the ICU with CVCs were enrolled. Patients during each study period (open system, 608; closed system, 384) were similar with respect to sex, severity-of-illness score, and prevalence of diabetes and cancer. Compliance with handwashing and CVC site care was also similar during the 2 study periods. The incidence of CVC-associated bacteremia during use of the closed system was significantly lower than during use of the open system (2.36 vs 6.52/1000 catheter-days, relative risk=0.36, 95% confidence interval=0.14-0.94, P=.02); bacteremias caused by gram-negative bacilli declined by 64%. In all, 17 patients with catheter-associated bacteremia died during the period when the open system was in use (2.8%), versus only 1 (0.2%) during use of the closed system (relative risk 0.09, P=.003). The calculated cost savings in the 20 hospital-month intervention period was $53,768 and 130.9 ICU days.

Conclusion: Adoption of a closed infusion system resulted in major reductions in the incidence of catheter-associated bacteremia, related mortality, and cost. Because most Latin American hospitals still use externally vented fluid containers, switching to nonvented bags could substantially reduce rates of nosocomial bacteremia.

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