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Entries in Central Line (2)

Thursday
Jan262012

Infections More Likely in Pediatric ICUs, Research Finds

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- Parents whose children are ill enough to spend time in an intensive care unit may have something else to worry about on top of that serious medical condition, according to new research published in Consumer Reports.

The risk of a serious bloodstream infection contracted in hospitals, the report says, is 20 percent higher in pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) than in adult intensive care units.

The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center also rated pediatric ICUs across the country based on how well they prevented a certain type of dangerous infection that affects central lines -- long tubes inserted into veins that go directly to blood vessels feeding the heart used to administer medication and fluids.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT AND SEE THE RATINGS OF PEDIATRIC ICUs]

Based on data from 92 ICUs gathered in 2010, researchers discovered that only five earned the highest possible rating of 5, meaning they reported no central line infections.  Twenty-four ICUs received a 2, the second-lowest rating.  Their infection rates were higher than the national average of 1.5 blood infections per 1,000 days children had central lines.  Two hospitals scored a 1, the lowest rating, with rates more than twice the national average.

The report cites data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimated 27,000 to 65,000 central line bloodstream infections in U.S. hospitals in 2009. Between 12,000 and 28,000 of them occurred in ICUs, and about 25 percent of them were fatal.

"These are serious infections that can lead to the death of a patient and are preventable, but hospitals are not doing enough to prevent them," said Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

The infections, he explained, often occur because health care personnel don't take enough precautions to ensure the lines are inserted under absolutely sterile conditions or make sure they are kept very clean so bacteria can't enter the bloodstream.

Santa also said that despite the fact that there are more than 400 hospitals with pediatric ICUs nationwide, only 92 made it into the analysis, because more than half of them did not make their infection data public and the others did not utilize enough central lines to make a fair comparison.  Hospitals are not required in every state to report their data on infections.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov052010

Hospitals Slow to Adopt Blood Stream Infection Prevention Program

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- It's a common procedure in any intensive care unit -- doctors insert into patients what is called a central line, which can be used to administer vital medications while monitoring various critical elements within the heart and blood.

But a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate shows that 250,000 patients with central lines contract blood stream infections every year, and more than 10 percent die as a result.  The study, conducted in 2002, is the CDC's most current figure.

A doctor at Johns Hopkins University says these deaths can be eliminated -- at virtually no extra cost and with little additional training.  Moreover, a program exists that promises to do just that, but almost two years after its inception, only a fraction of hospitals choose to participate.

"In what other industry, would there be a known safety standard — and nobody's debating the evidence — that a failure to comply with kills people," Dr. Peter Pronovost, medical director for the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care at Johns Hopkins, told ABCNews.

Pronovost, a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, believes these infections can be eliminated with a program he developed.  But, he said, progress is too slow.

Early last year, Pronovost set out to eliminate those infections.  He created a program called On the CUSP: Stop BSI (Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program to reduce Central-Line Blood Stream Infections in the ICU) in concert with Johns Hopkins, the Health Research and Educational Trust (an affiliate of the American Hospital Association), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio