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Chest drains raise ICU infection risk

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The length of time an ICU patient has a chest drain is an independent factor for infection risk, according to a Canadian study of 120 patients who had been in ICU for more than 48 hours.

‘Our study was the first to examine the relationships between several chest tube-related factors and healthcare-associated infection. Of all the chest tube-related factors, chest-tube days were the only independent predictor of HCAI,’ the authors said.

‘The findings suggest that patients whose chest-tube days exceeded 20 were almost six times more likely to develop HCAI than those whose chest-tube days were 20 or less,’ they added.

Intensive and Critical Care Nursing (2009) 25: 38–44

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