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May 2010, Volume 40 Number 5 , p 18 - 19


  • Nancy L. Moureau BSN, RN, CRNI, CPUI
  • Robert B. Dawson BSN, RN, MSA, CRNI, CPUI


MORE THAN 360 MILLION I.V. catheters are used in the United States each year, and all carry some risk of bloodstream infection (risk depends on insertion site, dwell time, number of lumens on central venous access devices [CVADs], and catheter management techniques).1Some experts consider central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) universally preventable if clinicians follow best practices meticulously.2 And as of January 1, 2010, the Joint Commission requires healthcare providers to use a standardized protocol to disinfect all catheter hubs and injection ports before accessing the ports. This article will review the pathophysiology of CLABSIs. A future article will describe two protocols for hub disinfection.CLABSIs typically occur from two main sources: * The manipulation and accessing of the catheter hub and needleless connectors. The access port or needleless connector that screws onto the catheter hub is the most common site of CLABSIs that occur 7 days or more after

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