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Central line care bundle to be launched in December

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A national initiative to reduce central venous catheter associated bloodstream infections (CABSI) is set to be launched in December, Nursing Times has learnt.

An estimated 200,000 central lines are inserted in the UK each year, of which around 12,400 are linked to cases of bloodstream infection, according to the National Patient Safety Agency, which is leading the two-year initiative.

NPSA chief executive Martin Fletcher told Nursing Times it would be rolled out nationally to all adult and paediatric ICUs in England from December. ICUs covered by the North East strategic health authority have already begun piloting it in order to provide data on baseline infection rates.

Mr Fletcher said the project, if successfully applied to every ICU, could potentially save the NHS £14m per year.

It is based on a highly successful US scheme from Johns Hopkins University in Michigan, which reduced CABSI rates to zero over an 18 month period.

The project focused on strategies to promote five evidence-based procedures identified as having the greatest effect on the rate of CABSI and the lowest barriers to implementation (see box). This included the introduction of a simple checklist for staff and the naming of nurses and doctors as team leaders for the project.

The NPSA version – named “Matching Michigan” and first announced in the NHS Next Stage Review last year – is also expected to provide nurses with a web-based data collection and reporting system for CABSI rates.


Effective procedures to cut CABSI rates
1) Hand-washing
2) Using full-barrier precautions during line insertion
3) Cleaning the skin with chlorhexidine
4) Avoiding the femoral site if possible
5) Removing unnecessary catheters

Source: NEJM (2006) 355: 2725-2732


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