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Strategies to Prevent Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infections in Acute Care Hospitals

  • Jonas Marschall (a1), Leonard A. Mermel (a2), David Classen (a3), Kathleen M. Arias (a4), Kelly Podgorny (a5), Deverick J. Anderson (a6), Helen Burstin (a7), David P. Calfee (a8), Susan E. Coffin (a9), Erik R. Dubberke (a1), Victoria Fraser (a1), Dale N. Gerding (a10) (a11), Frances A. Griffin (a12), Peter Gross (a13) (a14), Keith S. Kaye (a6), Michael Klompas (a15), Evelyn Lo (a16), Lindsay Nicolle (a16), David A. Pegues (a17), Trish M. Perl (a18), Sanjay Saint (a19), Cassandra D. Salgado (a20), Robert A. Weinstein (a21), Robert Wise (a5) and Deborah S. Yokoe (a15)...


Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections. The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention efforts. Refer to the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America/Infectious Diseases Society of America “Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections” Executive Summary and Introduction and accompanying editorial for additional discussion.

1. Patients at risk for CLABSIs in acute care facilities

a. Intensive care unit (ICU) population: The risk of CLABSI in ICU patients is high. Reasons for this include the frequent insertion of multiple catheters, the use of specific types of catheters that are almost exclusively inserted in ICU patients and associated with substantial risk (eg, arterial catheters), and the fact that catheters are frequently placed in emergency circumstances, repeatedly accessed each day, and often needed for extended periods.

b. Non-ICU population: Although the primary focus of attention over the past 2 decades has been the ICU setting, recent data suggest that the greatest numbers of patients with central lines are in hospital units outside the ICU, where there is a substantial risk of CLABSI.

2. Outcomes associated with hospital-acquired CLABSI

a. Increased length of hospital stay

b. Increased cost; the non-inflation-adjusted attributable cost of CLABSIs has been found to vary from $3,700 to $29,000 per episode


Corresponding author

University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637 ( or contact the journal office (


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