Simple interventions significantly reduce CLABSI rates in NICU

Two simple interventions — sterile tubing change in combination with hub scrub compliance — can significantly reduce the rates of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) in children’s hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), according to a multi-centre improvement collaborative.
“The practices we identified that are associated with lower central line infections should be considered by clinicians in efforts to decrease central line infection rates,” said Dr. Anthony J. Piazza, from Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. “These central line care practices can be incorporated into daily patient care. Lowering central line infections can decrease health care costs and may be associated with fewer deaths, shorter hospital stays, and improved developmental outcomes.”
Dr. Piazza and colleagues from 17 centres participating in the Standardizing Line Care Under Guideline (SLUG Bug) collaborative used orchestrated testing to identify infection practices that contribute to reductions in infection rates.
The collaborative CLABSI rate decreased from a baseline rate of 1.333 to 1.076 per 1000 line-days, a 19.28% reduction, according to the study.
Among the 14 centres that had decreased CLABSI rates during the study period, sterile tubing changes decreased rates by an average of 0.51 and the addition of hub scrub compliance monitoring decreased rates by an average of 1.25 per 1000 line-days.
“We are excited to have identified specific infection prevention practices that helped achieve very low rates of infection,” Dr. Piazza said. “We are hopeful these findings can spread to other areas of the hospital that are still working on lowering infection rates.”