CAUTION: Your I.V. may be Dangerous to your Health
The seriously ill go to the hospital with the hope of becoming well again and thankfully most do. Often serious illness is a result of disease and in some cases infectious and transmittable disease. As a result hospitals are a breeding ground for some of the most virulent microorganisms. Unfortunately, being a patient or even visiting a hospital can pose a serious health risk.
Today, the vast majority of hospitalized patients will receive some form of IV therapy which requires the insertion of a tube, also known as a catheter, directly into the bloodstream. Attached to the end of the catheter (external to the body) is typically found a needleless valve. This catheter and needleless valve combination provide a readily available route for drawing blood or delivering fluids or medications into your bloodstream. Unfortunately, improved access also creates a direct pathway for microorganisms to enter the body and to potentially create a bloodstream infection.
A bloodstream infection, or BSI, is systemic and can result in increases in hospital stay of 20 days or more adding significant cost to the patient’s care. Worse yet, roughly 20% of all people that get a BSI will die. As a result, this serious issue is the focus of many new initiatives in hospitals to address catheter -related bloodstream infections.
The scope of this problem is massive. More than 360 million I.V. catheters are used in the US each year. While the focus of most of today’s BSI efforts are focused on a specific type of catheters known as central line catheters, all catheters carry the risk of bloodstream infection.
Understanding proper catheter insertion and maintenance techniques is vital in the effort to reduce BSI rates. Check out the infographic [below] for a quick summary of the common organisms that invade catheters through the needleless valves and the measures that can prevent contamination.
- May 20, 2013
- Posted by webmin