Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI)

Some bloodstream infections may be associated with a catheter inserted into a large vein known as a central line. These catheters are used to treat patients who require certain medications and fluids. CLABSI is a primary bloodstream infection caused by the introduction of germs through the catheter. Prevention includes using the proper technique when inserting the catheter, daily review of the need to continue the central line, maintaining a clean dressing over the site where the line enters the body, proper technique when using the line, and performing hand washing whenever handling the line and/or dressing.

What are we measuring?

The graph below shows the number of CLABSIs that occurred anywhere in the hospital by quarter.

 clabsi 2016 Q4


The next graph shows a standardized infection ratio (SIR) for CLABSIs that have occurred anywhere is the hospital. This is another way to report CLABSIs. It is used by Hospital Compare. 

Standardized infection ratios compare the actual rate of infection to the predicted rate. The standardized infection ratio (SIR) is a summary measure used to track CLABSIs at a national, state, or local level over time. The SIR adjusts for the fact that each healthcare facility treats different types of patients. 

A SIR greater than 1.0 indicates that more CLABSIs occurred than were predicted and a SIR of less than 1.0 indicates that fewer CLABSIs occurred than predicted.

clabsi 2016b Q4

What is our performance telling us?

JFK continues to reduce the number of CLABSI over time. Evidence based best practices such standardizing insertion procedures, care of the insertion site, and regular review of the need for these lines are carry out for all central lines.

In mid-2012 the number of CLABSIs increased. We took these situations very seriously and since that time review every CLABSI that occurs individually. Based on these case reviews additional processes are in place regarding maintenance, daily examination of these lines, and staff education.

The overall trend continues to show that few CLABSIs occur. We are below he state and national SIRs. However, our goal is to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate these infections. There for continue to review our processes and work every day to prevent these infections.

What can you do to reduce the chance of CLABSI?

You can ask anyone of your healthcare providers to wash their hands when they enter your room and before touching the line. Keep your own hands clean and avoid touching the line. Do not allow your visitors to touch the line. Ask your visitors to wash their hands when they enter your room.

Patients who need a central line are given printed information that explains the use of these lines. Read the information, share it with your loved ones, and ask any questions you may have about your central line.