Central Venous Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections

Why Is This Measure Important?

Vascular catheters (also called central lines) are thin, flexible plastic tubes that are inserted into patients’ veins for the purpose of taking blood or giving IV fluids and medications. Infections from vascular catheters can occur in the skin (at the site where the catheter was inserted) or in the bloodstream.
If central lines are not correctly inserted or kept clean, they can allow germs to enter the body and cause serious blood infections. These central line-associated blood infections (CLABSIs) can cause serious problems and even death.
Hospital staff members can prevent most CLABSIs by following the infection control guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These include guidelines for inserting the central line, for keeping the insertion site clean, and for removing the central line as soon as it is not needed. Hospitals following these safety guidelines will likely have low numbers of vascular catheter-related bloodstream infections.

About this measure

This measure tracks the number of adult patients who had an infection associated with an central line, per 1000 patients receiving medical or surgical care, excluding patients with potentially immunocompromised states (e.g., AIDS, cancer, transplant).

In this case, a lower number is better.

Most Recent Available Data (Rate per 1000)
  2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 0.5
National Average 0.4
Performance Trend (Rate per 1000)
  2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2012 Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 0 0.3 0 0 0.8 0.4 0.1 0.5
National Average 0.75 0.75 0.39 0.39 0.39 0.39 0.39 0.4
Source:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, www.ahrq.gov
Central Venous Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections