Impact of a program to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infection in the zero tolerance era

Am J Infect Control. 2010 Aug;38(6):434-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2009.11.012. Epub 2010 Mar 12.


Background: Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is one of the most important health care-associated infections in the critical care setting.

Methods: A quasiexperimental study involving multiple interventions to reduce the incidence of CLABSI was conducted in a medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) and in 2 step-down units (SDUs). From March 2005 to March 2007 (phase 1 [P1]), some Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evidence-based practices were implemented. From April 2007 to April 2009 (P2), we intervened in these processes at the same time that performance monitoring was occurring at the bedside, and we implemented the Institute for Healthcare Improvement central line bundle for all ICU and SDU patients requiring central venous lines.

Results: The mean incidence density of CLABSI per 1000 catheter-days in the ICU was 6.4 in phase 1 and 3.2 in phase 2, P < .001. The mean incidence density of CLABSI per 1000 catheter-days in the SDUs was 4.1 in phase 1 and 1.6 in phase 2, P = .005.

Conclusion: These results suggest that reducing CLABSI rates in an ICU setting is a complex process that involves multiple performance measures and interventions that can also be applied to SDU settings.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / prevention & control*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology*
  • Fungemia / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Intensive Care Units