• A lower CVC infection rate suggests an improvement in practice and education.

  • CVC infection remains a complication that often requires significant health care resources.

  • Use of tunneled CVC and patient education on catheter care reduces CVC infection rates.


Objectives: Central venous catheter (CVC) infection is one of the most frequent, life-threatening complications in home parenteral nutrition (HPN) patients. Our objective was to conduct a 5-year retrospective chart review regarding CVC infections in 3 adult HPN programs.

Methods: Data were collected from the Canadian HPN Registry and patient charts that include demography, infection diagnosis, blood cultures, and treatments.

Results: Results are reported as median (range) ± standard error of mean or population frequency. Eighty-one charts were reviewed. Mean age was 51.98 ± 1.71 years. Short bowel syndrome (54.3%) was the primary diagnosis, with 36 months (range, 1324 months) median length of HPN therapy. Forty-seven subjects (58%) had infections over a 5-year period. Of these, there were 144 sepsis events. There was positive correlation (r = 0.423; P < 0.001) between number of infections and HPN duration. The median length of time the CVC was in place was 281 (range, 14–4380) days. There were 66.7% tunneled CVCs; 25.9% peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs), and 7.4% implanted venous port. In this sample, there was no association between line infection and catheter type. Most patients presented with fever (58.3%) and chills (38.2%). Blood cultures were done (89.6%), and coagulase negative Staphylococcus was the resulting pathogen present in 25.7%. Patients with bloodstream infection were treated for 17.9 ± 1.2 days with combination antibiotics (22.2%). Overall, the CVC infection rate was 0.97 per 1000 catheter days.

Conclusion: We found the standard approach to infection prevention is comparable to reports in literature. However, a subset of patients with multiple CVC infections require education with an emphasis on preventive techniques in order to reduce the incidence of infection.

You do not currently have access to this content.