Newer Approaches to Preventing Vascular Catheter-Related Sepsis

  • Rabih O. Darouiche
Part of the Perspectives on Critical Care Infectious Diseases book series (CCID, volume 5)


Despite our enhanced understanding of the pathogenesis and risk factors predisposing to infection of vascular catheters, bloodstream infection remains the most common serious complication of such intravascular devices. Most nosocomial cases of bloodstream infection are associated with the use of intravascular devices, which account for at least 200,000 such cases each year in the U.S. (1,2). The contribution of vascular catheters to sepsis is particularly prominent in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting where, for instance, patients with indwelling intravascular devices have substantially higher rates of bloodstream infection than those without such devices (3). Although ICU patients may require the insertion of different types of intravascular catheters, including peripheral arterial catheters, pulmonary artery catheters, peripheral venous catheters, and central venous catheters, the latter account for most cases of catheter-related bloodstream infection. The mortality attributable to catheter-related bloodstream infection in ICU patients approaches 25%, and patients who survive such an infection are hospitalized for a mean of 6.5 days longer than those who do not develop such an infection (4). The management of catheter-related bloodstream infections can be very expensive as it reportedly costs an additional mean of $29,000 to treat one such episode in ICU patients (4).


Central Venous Catheter Bloodstream Infection Vascular Catheter Catheter Colonization Intravascular Device 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rabih O. Darouiche
    • 1
  1. 1.Baylor College of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Medical CenterHoustonUSA

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