Preventable healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) remains a significant problem, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating 1.7 million infections in US hospitals and 99,000 associated deaths per annum.1 Vascular access devices (VADs), especially, provide a direct invasive route for microorganisms to infect patients during their insertion and ongoing maintenance, and consequently they provide a relatively high risk of preventable morbidity and mortality. The CDC estimates the cost of central line–associated bloodstream infections were close to $3 billion per annum in 2007.2 

Consequently, for all invasive clinical procedures and ongoing maintenance of indwelling medical devices, patients are dependent upon healthcare workers (HCWs) and healthcare organizations to protect them from infection. This is only ensured when a collection of infection prevention methods and actions, generically referred to as aseptic or sterile techniques, are applied effectively. Effective aseptic...

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