Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

This actionable evidence-based practice blueprint provides a checklist for clinicians to create an action plan to prevent CLABSI and ensure best patient care. This document is revised as needed to incorporate the latest best practices and gold standard of care. The e-book is available free of charge. © 2020 Patient Safety Movement Foundation.



The Challenge

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are a source of serious harm and death in hospitalized patients, with an estimated 41,000 patients in US hospitals being harmed each year, according to researchers. A CLABSI occurs when germs—usually bacteria or viruses—enter the bloodstream through the central line. Though ICU patients have the greatest chance of acquiring CLABSIs, central venous catheters are increasingly used outside the ICU, exposing more patients to the risk. CLABSIs and other hospital-acquired infections, however, are mostly preventable, and evidence-based CLABSI interventions have resulted in reductions ranging from 38% to 80%. Researchers estimate that the use of process change as well as technology to reduce CLABSIs can save up to $2.7 billion per year while significantly improving quality of care and patient safety.