Aseptic Approaches and Novel Antimicrobial Catheters for Prevention of Infection of Vascular Catheters
V ascular catheters have become indispensable tools in the modern care of patients. However, the benefits derived from these devices are often offset by the the morbidity and mortality resulting from infec tious complications. Catheter-related bloodstream infection, the most frequent life-threatening complication of vascular catheters, accounts for the majority of cases of nosocomial bloodstream infections . For instance, the reported rates of bloodstream infection associated with noncuffed central venous catheters (CVCs) and with long-term cuffed, silastic CVCs have ranged from 4 to 14 percent [2-5] and 8 to 43 per cent , respectively. In addition to causing serious medical complica tions, vascular catheter-related bloodstream infections are very expen sive to manage. The most recent data indicated that the extra cost of treating one episode of catheter-related bloodsteam infection in a crit ically ill patient was $28,690 per survivor, and each such episode resulted in an additional average stay of 6.5 days in the intensive care unit [7,8].