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To estimate the risk of bloodstream infection associated with catheter dwell time in infants.
Duke University Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit, an academic, level 3 nursery in Durham, North Carolina.
A case of catheter-associated bloodstream infection was defined as one that occurred in an infant whose culture-positive blood sample was collected more than 24 hours after catheter insertion or within 72 hours after catheter removal. We used multivariable logistic regression to control for the catheter's position and dwell time as well as the infant's sex, gestational age, age at time of catheter insertion, birth weight, and weight at time of catheter insertion.
We identified 135 cases of catheter-associated bloodstream infection. The mean catheter dwell time was 12.2 days (range, 0–113 days), and the mean time to bloodstream infection was 10.8 days (range, 1–57 days). An increase in catheter dwell time was associated with a lower risk of bloodstream infection (odds ratio, 0.975 [95% confidence interval, 0.954–0.996]; P = .02).
increased risk of catheter-associated bloodstream infection was observed with increased catheter dwell time. This may have been due to the infant's improved nutrition, decreased need for other invasive devices, and maturing skin and immune system as catheter dwell time increased.