To reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections: is the subclavian route better than the jugular route for central venous catheterization?

J Infect Chemother. 2006 Dec;12(6):363-5. doi: 10.1007/s10156-006-0471-x. Epub 2007 Jan 18.


The most important targets of hospital-acquired infection control are to reduce the incidence of surgical-site, catheter-related, and ventilator-associated infections. In this report, we address previously presented infection-control strategies for central venous (CV) line catheterization, using a CV catheter-related infection surveillance system. Data concerning CV catheter insertion were collected from all facilities in our 650-bed hospital, excluding the operating and hemodialysis wards. Collected data included the insertion method, purpose, length of catheter inserted, duration of catheterization, infection rate, and complication rate. Catheter-related infection was diagnosed based on bacteriological examinations from blood cultures. The total number of catheterizations was 806 a year, and average duration of catheterization was 9.8 days. The purpose of catheterization was nutritional support in 210 cases, hemodialysis in 96 cases, cardiac support in 174 cases, and other treatments in 260 cases. In 66 cases, the purpose of CV catheter was not specified. The rate of positive cultures was 7.1%, and complications other than infection occurred in 0.5%. The main causative organisms were methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in 38.6%, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus epidermidis (CNS) in 33.3%, and S. aureus in 12.3% of infections. Infection rates were 3.8 per 1000 catheter-days in subclavian, 6.1 in jugular, and 15.7 in femoral vein catheterization. In high-risk departments (intensive care unit [ICU] and emergency departments) the infection rate was 5.4 for subclavian and 10.2 for jugular catheterization, whereas it was 3.6 for subclavian and 4.6 for jugular catheterization in noncritical-care departments. Considering complications such as pneumothorax, CV catheterization of the jugular vein is recommended in certain situations.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Data Collection
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • Japan
  • Jugular Veins
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety Management
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / prevention & control*
  • Subclavian Vein