As many as 28,000 patients die each year in the U.S. because of catheter-related bloodstream infections, but doctors and nurses who implement simple and inexpensive interventions can cut the number of deaths to nearly zero, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.
"This type of improvement has never been demonstrated, but there is no reason that ICUs across the country cant implement these interventions to achieve similar results," said Sean Berenholtz, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and of surgery at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study published in the October issue of Critical Care Medicine.
The simple interventions, which include a system for educating nurses and doctors about infection control, streamlining the catheter insertion process, and a safety checklist, are believed to have prevented over 40 infections, eight deaths and saved nearly $2 million in additional health care costs during the four-year study at Johns Hopkins, says Berenholtz.
Trent Stockton | EurekAlert!
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