ICU catheter infections remain low 36 months after reduction initiative

Michigan Hospitals who took part in the Keystone ICU project, an intervention to reduce catheter related blood stream infections, have sustained reductions in rates of catheter related bloodstream infections 36 months after the initial intervention.

Researcher Peter Pronovost and colleagues report in an article in BMJ that the broad use of this intervention could substantially reduce the morbidity and costs associated with catheter related bloodstream infections.

The intervention evaluated in the Keystone ICU project targeted clinicians’ use of five evidence based recommendations to reduce catheter related bloodstream infections:

• Hand washing;
• Using gowns and full barrier precautions;
• Cleaning the skin with chlorhexidine;
• Avoiding the femoral site when possible; and
• Removing unnecessary catheters.

(SOURCE: February 9, 2010; BMJ,, February 4, 2010)