Effect of chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine-impregnated central venous catheters in an intensive care unit with a low blood stream infection rate after implementation of an educational program: A before-after trial

Douglas J.E. Schuerer, Jeanne E. Zack, James Thomas, Ingrid B. Borecki, Carrie S. Sona, Marilyn E. Schallom, Melissa Venker, Jennifer L. Nemeth, Myrna R. Ward, Linda Verjan, David K. Warren, Victoria J. Fraser, John E. Mazuski, Walter A. Boyle, Timothy G. Buchman, Craig M. Coopersmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Current guidelines recommend using antiseptic- or antibiotic-impregnated central venous catheters (CVCs) if, following a comprehensive strategy to prevent catheter-related blood stream infection (CR-BSI), infection rates remain above institutional goals based on benchmark values. The purpose of this study was to determine if chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine-impregnated CVCs could decrease the CR-BSI rate in an intensive care unit (ICU) with a low baseline infection rate. Methods: Pre-intervention and post-intervention observational study in a 24-bed surgical/trauma/burn ICU from October, 2002 to August, 2005. All patients requiring CVC placement after March, 2004 had a chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine-impregnated catheter inserted (post-intervention period). Results: Twenty-three CR-BSIs occurred in 6,960 catheter days (3.3 per 1,000 catheter days) during the 17-month control period. After introduction of chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine-impregnated catheters, 16 CR-BSIs occurred in 7,732 catheter days (2.1 per 1,000 catheter days; p = 0.16). The average length of time required for an infection to become established after catheterization was similar in the two groups (8.4 vs. 8.6 days; p = 0.85). Chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine-impregnated catheters did not result in a statistically significant change in the microbiological profile of CR-BSIs, nor did they increase the incidence of resistant organisms. Conclusions: Although chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine-impregnated catheters are useful in specific patient populations, they did not result in a statistically significant decrease in the CR-BSI rate in this study, beyond what was achieved with education alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-454
Number of pages10
JournalSurgical infections
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

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