Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are the #1 most costly type of hospital-acquired infection (HAI) and pose serious consequences for both patients as well as hospitals. Consider these stark CLABSI statistics:
As a major threat to the health of patients and the reputation of hospitals, organizations must take measures to prevent these infections. And nurses are on the front line.
CLABSIs occur when bacteria or viruses enter the bloodstream through a central venous catheter (CVC), which is often placed in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to administer medication or collect blood for medical tests. Because central lines access a major vein and can remain in place for weeks or months, they are much more likely to cause serious infection.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in collaboration with other organizations, has developed a checklist for the prevention of CLABSI and other types of healthcare-associated infections. Facilities can monitor the rates of CLABSI and assess the effectiveness of prevention efforts through CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
In addition, everyone visiting the patient must wash their hands—before and after they visit.
Nurses can lead the way in taking the appropriate measures to lessen the threat of CLABSIs.