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Health Care-Associated Bloodstream Infections in Newborns


What are we tracking and why?

We track the number of bacterial infections that develop in the bloodstream of newborn patients who have a central line catheter. Patients admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) often require a central line to provide necessary fluids and medication. Patients can develop bloodstream infections associated with the use and maintenance of central lines. These infections are called “central line-associated bloodstream infections” (CLABSI), and cause serious complications.

How are we doing?

What are we doing to improve?

We have ongoing efforts aimed at preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). Efforts include using a special dressing infused with antiseptic (chlorhexidine) on all central lines and monitoring best practice techniques from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including:

  • Practicing hand hygiene protocols

  • Using full-barrier precautions during central line insertions

  • Cleaning skin with chlorhexidine prior to insertion

  • Scrubbing hubs and access ports with disinfectant prior to accessing lines

  • Avoiding the placement of lines in legs

  • Removing lines when no longer medically necessary: To be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition.

What can you do?

You are encouraged to ask members of the care team to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection during insertion and maintenance of any central line. This includes asking them to wash their hands and to use the recommended sterile insertion and maintenance techniques.
It is also important to have the line removed as soon as it is no longer necessary. You are encouraged to ask about the necessity of a central line at every opportunity.

Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.