Scrubbing the hub of intravenous catheters with an alcohol wipe for 15 sec reduced neonatal sepsis

Acta Paediatr. 2015 Mar;104(3):232-6. doi: 10.1111/apa.12866. Epub 2015 Jan 30.


Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether scrubbing the hub of intravenous catheters with an alcohol wipe for 15 sec could reduce the incidence of neonatal sepsis in a level-three neonatal intensive care unit.

Methods: We studied the incidence of neonatal sepsis caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) for 16.5 months before the initiative was launched on May 15, 2012 and then for a further 8.5 months after it was introduced. The hub routine was applied to all intravenous catheters.

Results: During the control period before the initiative was launched, there were nine cases of CoNS sepsis compared with no cases after it was introduced, resulting in a decrease in sepsis incidence from 1.5% to 0% with a risk reduction of 1.5% (0.53-2.58%) (p = 0.06). In the preterm infant population, the incidence of sepsis decreased from 3.6% to 0% (1.1-6.0%) (p = 0.11).

Conclusion: Scrubbing the hub of intravenous catheters with an alcohol wipe for 15 sec seemed to be an efficient way of preventing sepsis caused by CoNS in newborn infants. However, the evidence for the benefits will remain weak until a large randomised trial has been completed.

Keywords: Coagulase-negative staphylococci; Infection; Intravenous catheters; Neonatal sepsis; Prevention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • 2-Propanol*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Central Venous Catheters
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods
  • Male
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / prevention & control*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 2-Propanol