Treatment Protocols for Infections of Vascular Catheters
Use of indwelling central venous catheters has increased considerably over the last two decades and is considered an essential component in the care of patients undergoing intensive medical or surgical procedures. The benefits and convenience of prolonged indwelling central venous access, however, is offset by an increased risk of bloodstream infection. Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) affect 4 to 8% of all patients with indwelling central venous catheters and are associated with significant morbidity, especially in critically-ill patients (1) Difficulties associated with the diagnosis, and treatment of CRBSI as well as surgical management of implanted catheters can significantly increase the cost of hospital care. The cost of managing a single case of CRSI was estimated to be in excess of $28,000 and is associated with an increased length of hospital stay of 5 to 30 days (2,3).