Regular assessment of the need to continue central line insertion and maintenance of lines can help reduce the risk of infection to pediatric patients in the ICU. According to results from a study that has just been published in the journal Pediatrics, when ICUs follow practices that are designed specifically for pediatric patients, they have a much higher chance of being successful in reducing infection rates.
The use of these pediatric-specific instructions has helped reduce the number of pediatric infectious in several hospitals. The rate of such infections fell from 5.2 per 1000 central line days to 2.3 per 1000 central line days at 29 participating hospitals. The reduction in such infections saved more than 100 lives, and $31 million in health care costs.
The steps that the ICUs followed to reduce infection rates included, among others:
• Hand washing before insertion of the central line • A scrub of chlorhexidine at the insertion site for 30 seconds • Use of an insertion checklist • Sterile barriers for healthcare personnel and patients • Insertion training for healthcare personnel • Daily assessment of whether the central line that is needed • Care for the site using a chlorhexidine scrub
The researchers also point out that the kind of measures that are used to reduce the incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infections in adult patients, are not likely to work when you are dealing with pediatric patients. In adult patients, prevention of infections focuses on insertion of central lines. However, in pediatric patients, regular maintenance of the ports shows greater benefits in reducing infection rates.
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