Background: Central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI) rates in adult care intensive care units have been decreasing across the board. However, we continued to see just a few infections in patients whose catheters are in for >4 days. Therefore, we looked at infections associated with intraluminal contamination to help reduce our infection rate.
Methods: A protective cap trial was developed and implemented in 2 intensive care units. All of the central venous catheter and intravenous tubing access valves were covered with a protective cap saturated with alcohol. This intervention eliminated the need to wipe off intravenous access points with an alcohol swab. The study was done as a nonrandomized prospective trial occurring March 1, 2011 through February 29, 2012.
Results: During 2010, there were 4 CLABSI-related infections. By the end of the trial, we had incurred 1 catheter-associated blood stream infection. CLABSI rate reduced from 1.9 in 2010 to 0.5 during the 1-year trial period.
Conclusions: The implementation of the port protector cap system resulted in lower infection rates compared with an alcohol swab technique. Our results indicate that consistent use of the caps in tandem with strict compliance does influence CLABSI rates.