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NICE backs dressing to reduce IV catheter infections

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A device to hold venous or arterial catheters in place securely and reduce the risk of related infections has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 

The medical technology guidance advises using the 3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing for critically ill patients who need a central venous or arterial catheter in intensive care or high dependency units. 

Tegaderm CHG dressing is a sterile transparent semipermeable polyurethane adhesive dressing, with an integrated gel pad containing the antibacterial agent chlorhexidine gluconate.

“The use of 3M Tegaderm CHG could have a significant impact on catheter-related infections if its use becomes standard practice in hospitals”

Carole Longson

The dressing is used to secure percutaneous devices and to cover and protect central venous and arterial catheter insertion sites, providing an effective barrier against external contamination.

The dressing and the integrated gel pad are also transparent to allow observation of the catheter insertion site. The integrated gel pad is designed to reduce skin and catheter colonisation to suppress regrowth of microorganisms commonly related to catheter-related bloodstream infections.

The evidence considered by NICE’s medical technologies advisory committee showed that the new dressing offered better protection against catheter-related bloodstream infection than sterile semipermeable transparent dressings.

Professor Carole Longson, director of NICE’s centre for health technology evaluation, said: “This transparent technology enables the catheter insertion site to be seen clearly, and also provides antiseptic coverage. 

“For hospitals and units which have a moderate rate of baseline catheter-related bloodstream infection, this technology could save an estimated £73 per patient instead of using a standard transparent semipermeable dressing,” she said.

NICE defined a moderate rate of baseline catheter-related bloodstream infection as about 1.48 per 1,000 catheter days, and a low rate is 0.24 per 1000 catheter days.

It estimated that routine use of the Tegaderm CHG dressing could save the NHS in England between £4.2m and £10.8m each year in reduced infection rates – assuming the baseline catheter-related bloodstream infection rate is 1.48 per 1,000 catheter days.

Professor Longson added: “The use of 3M Tegaderm CHG could have a significant impact on catheter-related infections if its use becomes standard practice in hospitals that are not able to achieve very low infection rates by other means.”

The dressing is available in four different sizes, but the most common size – accounting for 85% of sales – is 8.5cm by 11.5cm, which costs £6.21.

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