Patients require a central line when blood, fluid replacement and/or nutrition need to be given to them intravenously. Central lines also allow health care providers to monitor fluid status and make determinations about the heart and blood. Central line infections occur when a central venous catheter (or “line”) placed into a patient’s vein gets infected. This happens when bacteria grow in the line and spreads to the patient’s bloodstream, causing a patient to become sick. The bacteria can come from a variety of places (e.g., skin, wounds, environment, etc.), though it may often come from the patient’s skin. Hospitals follow best practices on how to prevent bacteria from entering the blood stream. Patients in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) often require a central line since they are seriously ill, and will require a lot of medication, for a long period of time.
The rate is calculated as follows:
Number of new hospital-acquired cases of CLI-BSI in CCU X 1000
Total number of central line days in CCU