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Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter–Related Infections

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Naomi P. O'Grady
Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM)
Mary Alexander
Infusion Nurses Society (INS), Cambridge, Massachusetts
E. Patchen Dellinger
Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, representing the Surgical Infection Society (SIS) and SCCM
Julie L. Gerberding
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
Stephen O. Heard
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, representing the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and the American Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (ASCCA)
Dennis G. Maki
Infectious Diseases Section, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wisconsin
Henry Masur
Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
Rita D. McCormick
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin, representing the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
Leonard A. Mermel
Division of Infectious Diseases, Rhode Island Hospital, andBrown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island
Michele L. Pearson
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
Issam I. Raad
Department of Medical Specialties, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Adrienne Randolph
Departments of Anesthesia and Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Robert A. Weinstein
Division of Infectious Disease, Cook County Hospital and Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois, representing the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)



Although many catheter-related blood-stream infections (CRBSIs) are preventable, measures to reduce these infections are not uniformly implemented.


To update an existing evidenced-based guideline that promotes strategies to prevent CRBSIs.

Data Sources:

The MEDLINE database, conference proceedings, and bibliographies of review articles and book chapters were searched for relevant articles.

Studies Included:

Laboratory-based studies, controlled clinical trials, prospective interventional trials, and epidemiologic investigations.

Outcome Measures:

Reduction in CRBSI, catheter colonization, or catheter-related infection.


The recommended preventive strategies with the strongest supportive evidence are education and training of healthcare providers who insert and maintain catheters; maximal sterile barrier precautions during central venous catheter insertion; use of a 2% chlorhexidine preparation for skin antisepsis; no routine replacement of central venous catheters for prevention of infection; and use of antiseptic/antibiotic-impregnated short-term central venous catheters if the rate of infection is high despite adherence to other strategies (ie, education and training, maximal sterile barrier precautions, and 2% chlorhexidine for skin antisepsis).


Successful implementation of these evidence-based interventions can reduce the risk for serious catheter-related infection.

Special Report
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2002

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