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|Newsletters: New Guidelines for Preventing Catheter-Related Infections|
New Guidelines for Preventing Catheter-Related Infections
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 2011” is now available online. This document replaces guidelines issued in 2002. It will be a great resource for home parenteral nutrition (homePN) consumers looking for the latest evidence-based recommendations on care and maintenance of their catheters.
Lead author of the guidelines, Naomi O’Grady, MD, of the National Institutes of Health, says, “Previous prevention efforts have focused on central venous catheter placement in intensive care units, due to the frequency and the profound effect of hospital-acquired infections on ICU patients.…But now we know that maintaining catheters can be equally associated with risk of infection, not just in the ICU but in outpatients too.”
While directed at health care personnel, the guidelines acknowledge that avoiding catheter-related infections should be a multidisciplinary effort that involves the patient as well as health care professionals. “This guideline,” notes Dr. O’Grady, “will address many issues associated with keeping a catheter in place by emphasizing attention to the details of good catheter care.”
The guidelines address many areas of concern. It would not be practical to list them all here, and many are directed more toward the health care provider than the homePN consumer. There are many issues, however, that will be important to the patient caring for his or her own catheter, or providing care to someone with a catheter at home, including: hand hygiene and aseptic technique; skin preparation during dressing changes; catheter site dressing regimens; patient cleansing; catheter securement devices; antibiotic locks and flushes; anticoagulants; replacement of catheters; replacement of administration sets; and needleless systems.
We are hoping to include a more detailed summary of these guidelines in a future issue of the newsletter. In the meantime, you can access the full document (83 pages) on the CDC Web site. If you don’t have computer access but would like information regarding any of the areas of concern mentioned above, contact Lisa at the Oley office (800-776-OLEY) and she will try to send you the relevant section(s) of the guidelines.
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