The incidence of catheter-related sepsis associated-with the use of Tegaderm or Opsite IV3000 dressings on 100 critically ill patients with liver disease was studied. All the patients had central venous catheters in situ and they were randomly assigned to one of the two dressings. In this study the sites of insertion were assessed at each dressing change, together with any fluid under the dressing. No statistically significant difference between the two dressings was found in accumulation of fluid, skin microbial colonization, local infection or systemic infection of patients in our sample. There was no apparent advantage to using the more permeable Opsite IV3000 dressing.