Extended Use of Catheters in Newborns Linked to Infection

Risk of central line-associated bloodstream infections particularly increases after 35 days
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs) are probably associated with a higher risk of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLA-BSIs) in high-risk newborns when inserted for extended periods, particularly after more than 35 days, according to research published online March 15 in Pediatrics.

Arnab Sengupta, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues retrospectively examined whether the duration of PICC use was associated with CLA-BSIs in 683 high-risk neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The researchers note that the overall incidence of PICC-associated CLA-BSI was 2.01 per 1,000 catheter-days. The incidence rate increased by 14 percent per day during the first 18 days, decreased by 20 percent per day from days 19 to 35, and increased by 33 percent per day from day 36 to 60. The authors found no significant association between CLA-BSI and gestational age, chronological age, or birth weight.

"Our data suggest that catheter duration is an important risk factor for PICC-associated CLA-BSI in the NICU," Sengupta and colleagues conclude. "A significant daily increase in the risk of CLA-BSI after 35 days may warrant PICC replacement if intravascular access is necessary beyond that period."

One author reported receiving an honorarium from Mead Johnson and Pediatrix. Another reported receiving grant support from Sage Products Inc. A third author served on a data-monitoring board for Cadance Pharmaceuticals and served as an advisory panel member for Theradoc Inc.

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