1. Chernecky, Cynthia PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN
  2. Macklin, Denise BSN, RN, VA-BC
  3. Blackburn, Paul MNA, RN, VA-BC


Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CR-BSIs) are bloodstream infections that, through specific laboratory testing, identify the intravascular catheter as the source of the bloodstream infection. By 2015, the rate of elderly patients 80 years of age and older admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) will represent 1 in 4 admissions. Approximately 80 000 CR-BSIs occur in ICUs annually, potentially resulting in as many as 56 000 CR-BSIs occurring in the geriatric ICU patient, with 20% of these cases resulting in death. To minimize the occurrence of CR-BSIs in these patients, specific knowledge about the geriatric patient will have to be factored into the ICU health care professional's practice, including the development of a vascular access plan, which includes selection of the correct device and proper insertion of that device along with an evidence-based care and maintenance program. Intensive care unit health care professionals may be at a loss when it comes to navigating the vast array of vascular access medical devices available today. The Healthcare and Technology Synergy framework can assist the ICU health care professional to logically review each vascular access device and select those devices that best meet patient needs.