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Reducing the Risk of Bloodstream Infections

Anyone can get bloodstream infections but there are those that are more vulnerable to acquiring it. It is dangerous to get this type of infection as they are potentially fatal especially if it is not diagnosed and treated in time. However, if hospitals and other heathcare institutions implement and practice infection control measures, then the risk of bloodstream infections can be reduced drastically. Here are some steps they can take to ensure this.

Central Venous Catheters

Newborns are among the most vulnerable when it comes to bloodstream infections. Since their immune systems have not yet fully developed, it is easy for them to get sick especially during prolonged hospital stays where they are prone to catching other illnesses. In a new study done by Johns Hopkins Children's Center investigators, it shows how the risk of dangerous bloodstream infections--in newborns with central venous catheters (CVC)--can be reduced. The study suggests that the clinicians should end the use of CVC as soon as possible instead of waiting for the signs of infection to appear. It also suggests that caregivers should weigh every baby’s risk infection everyday and consider it against the CVC’s therapeutic benefits. You can read more about this study in this article.

Computerized Checklist

Can a computerized safety checklist that will automatically pull data from a patient’s electronic medical record help in reducing the risks of bloodstream infection? According to a study by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, it certainly does as results show a significant drop in a serious type of hospital-acquired infection that usually begins in central lines. This automated checklist with an interactive dashboard style interface makes it faster and easier for caregivers to adhere to the national guidelines on how to keep patients’ central lines free from infection. The system works by combing through all the data in the electronic medical records and sends alerts to doctors and nurses whenever a patient’s central line is in need of care. The results of the study was publish in the journal Pediatrics.

Disinfecting Port Protectors

Since needleless IV connectors became popular in the 1990s, the standard method for valve disinfection was usually manually scrubbing the luer of access valves using an alcohol pad before every access. Due to various reasons, it’s almost impossible to monitor if health care professionals have been complying with the scrub-the-hub protocols. There are cases of lapses, which is dangerous especially if these result in bloodstream infections. Even the most vigilant individual can have some lapses, so in order to avoid these risky incidents, a good option would be for passive disinfection instead of manual scrubbing techniques. Curos access port protectors act as a disinfecting cleaner between iv access ports effectively preventing contamination. This requires less time compared to manual cleaning techniques, preventing lapses through passive yet consistent disinfection. The bright green cap is also helpful in monitoring disinfection compliance auditing. When the valve is not in use, it prevents contamination by acting as a physical barrier.

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