JOHNSON CITY – A study published this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that blood stream infections in intensive care units are on the decline nationwide. According to the study, U.S. hospitals have seen a 58 percent reduction in central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) between 2001 and 2009.
Locally, Johnson City Medical Center has followed this same trend, with CLABSI rates dropping in key areas, including ICU and oncology. Between 2008 and 2010, JCMC’s CLABSI rate in the ICU dropped 75 percent. System wide, all MSHA hospitals combined saw a 65 percent reduction.
The reduction is the result of several targeted initiatives designed to standardize the way caregivers insert and maintain central lines. A central line is a tube inserted directly into a major blood vessel. Central lines are necessary for patients who need to receive long-term antibiotics or nutrition through an IV and for patients who can’t use traditional IV lines for other purposes.
“For all central lines, we are using the products and practices recommended by the CDC. We have really standardized the way we insert and maintain central lines, with a focus on keeping the site as clean as possible,” said Rebecca Bartles, corporate manager for infection prevention at MSHA. “We’ve also tried to reduce the number of central lines that we use overall, with the idea being the fewer central lines, the less risk for infection.”