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Environmental Exposures and the Risk of Central Venous Catheter Complications and Readmissions in Home Infusion Therapy Patients

  • Sara C. Keller (a1), Deborah Williams (a2), Mitra Gavgani (a2), David Hirsch (a2), John Adamovich (a2), Dawn Hohl (a2), Amanda Krosche (a1), Sara Cosgrove (a1) and Trish M. Perl (a1)...



Patients are frequently discharged with central venous catheters (CVCs) for home infusion therapy.


To study a prospective cohort of patients receiving home infusion therapy to identify environmental and other risk factors for complications.


Prospective cohort study between March and December 2015.


Home infusion therapy after discharge from academic medical centers.


Of 368 eligible patients discharged from 2 academic hospitals to home with peripherally inserted central catheters and tunneled CVCs, 222 consented. Patients remained in the study until 30 days after CVC removal.


Patients underwent chart abstraction and monthly telephone surveys while the CVC was in place, focusing on complications and environmental exposures. Multivariable analyses estimated adjusted odds ratios and adjusted incident rate ratios between clinical, demographic, and environmental risk factors and 30-day readmissions or CVC complications.


Of 222 patients, total parenteral nutrition was associated with increased 30-day readmissions (adjusted odds ratio, 4.80 [95% CI, 1.51–15.21) and CVC complications (adjusted odds ratio, 2.41 [95% CI, 1.09–5.33]). Exposure to soil through gardening or yard work was associated with a decreased likelihood of readmissions (adjusted odds ratio, 0.09 [95% CI, 0.01–0.74]). Other environmental exposures were not associated with CVC complications.


complications and readmissions were common and associated with the use of total parenteral nutrition. Common environmental exposures (well water, cooking with raw meat, or pets) did not increase the rate of CVC complications, whereas soil exposures were associated with decreased readmissions. Interventions to decrease home CVC complications should focus on total parenteral nutrition patients.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;1–8


Corresponding author

Address correspondence to Sara C. Keller, MD, MPH, MSHP, 10751 Falls Road, Suite 412, Lutherville, MD 21093 (


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Presented in part: IDWeek 2015, San Diego, California, October 7–11, 2015, abstract 1454; the National Home Infusion Association Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 21–24, 2016, abstract 2; the Translational Science Conference, Washington, DC, April 13–15 2016, abstract TMP123; and the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, May 18–21, 2016 abstract 7851.

S.C. and T.M.P. contributed equally to this article.



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