The central venous catheter is a valuable tool in inpatient
medicine. However, with its use comes the risk of local
and systemic infections. Kluger et al estimated that
250,000 cases of central line-associated blood stream
infections occur annually. Mortality rates range from 12-
25% per infection.1 Therefore, it is essential that health
care providers take all necessary precautionary measures
to avoid infection. Guidelines have been published by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide
an evidence-based medicine (EBM) approach for
avoiding central venous catheter-related infections.
Recommendations include proper skin cleansing, the use
of maximal sterile barriers, selection of the subclavian site,
avoiding routine replacement of central venous catheters,
and using antiseptic/antibiotic impregnated catheters.