Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI)

What are we measuring and why?

A central line is often necessary to receive fluids and medication. Sometimes patients can develop infections associated with these catheters, especially if they have a weak immune system or have chronic diseases. To reduce the risk of infection, it is important to maintain the cleanliness of the line and insertion site as well as removing the line as soon as possible.

How do we measure?

*Standardized Infection Ratios (SIRs) developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are adjusted for risk factors ranging from type and size of a hospital to the type of unit reporting within the facility –such as a surgical unit or critical care unit - allowing for comparisons among diverse hospitals.

What are we doing to improve?

San Antonio Regional Hospital has ongoing efforts aimed at reducing preventable central line associated bloodstream infections. Following best practice processes outlined by the CDC such as proper hand hygiene, cleansing the patient’s skin, using full barrier precautions during the line insertion, and early line removal. In addition we bathe all critical care unit patients with chlorhexidine on a daily basis to further reduce the risk of infection.

What can you do?

Patients are encouraged to remind their care team to take necessary precautions to reduce risk of infection. Patients and family members should also feel empowered to ask about the necessity of a central line to assure its appropriateness and that it is removed as soon as possible.

Appropriate hand hygiene by the care team, patient, and visitors is an important part of infection prevention.