November 12, 2013

162017_132140396847214_292624_nBetween 250,000 and 500,000 central line-associated blood stream infections (“CLABSIs”) occur in hospitals in the United States annually. CLABSIs cause serious complications leading to longer inpatient stays, increased costs, and higher risk of death. It is estimated that the non-inflation-adjusted attributable cost of CLABSIs range from $3,700 to $29,000 per episode. CLABSIs can often be prevented by adherence to evidence-based guidelines for the insertion, use, and maintenance of central lines.

What Is A Central Line?

A central line is a tube inserted into a large vein in the neck, chest, arm, or groin and is used to administer fluids and medications and to withdraw blood. Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) occur when microorganisms enter the blood through the tube.

Preventing Central Line Infections

The CDC has published its “Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 2011,” which can be read by clicking here.

The CDC has also published its “Checklist for Prevention of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections” in which the CDC provides specific guidelines for clinicians under the headings, “Promptly remove unnecessary central lines,” “Follow proper insertion practices,” and “Handle and maintain central lines appropriately,” as well as specific guidelines for facilities and “supplemental strategies for consideration.” Click here to read the CDC’s “Checklist .”

West Virginia’s Experience With CLABSIs

The West Virginia HealthCare Authority reported in its 2012 annual report entitled, “Healthcare-Associated Infection Public Reporting Program” that in 2010, 58 CLABSIs in medical, surgical, and medical/surgical ICUs were reported by West Virginia hospitals; significantly fewer CLABSIs occurred in West Virginia medical, surgical, and medical/surgical ICUs in 2010 than what were expected based on national averages; in West Virginia, central lines are used on about 44% of patient days spent in a medical, surgical, or medical/surgical ICU (47,524 of the 109,058 patient days), compared to the national average of 48%; among West Virginia hospitals, the central line utilization ratio ranged from a low of 1% to a high of 81% of patient days (central line use is expected to differ based on the type of ICU and patient risk factors); and, among West Virginia hospitals, the 2010 CLABSI SIR ranged from a low of 0.0 (no CLABSIs reported) to a high of 2.47 (SIR (standardized infection ratio) compares the actual number of CLABSIs reported by the hospital to the baseline U.S. experience – a SIR greater than 1.0 indicates that more CLABSIs occurred in the hospital than what was predicted based on national averages for a hospital of that type and size and a SIR less than 1.0 indicates that fewer CLABSIs occurred than were expected). Click here to read the 2012 Annual Report.

What To Do If You Suffered A CLABSI

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or other harms as a result of central line-associated blood stream infection while in a hospital, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the cause of your infection was medical negligence.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in West Virginia or medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may investigate the cause of your infection for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim due to a central line infection, if appropriate.

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