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Central venous catheter infections at a county hospital in Sweden: a prospective analysis of colonization, incidence of infection and risk factors

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Catheter-related infection (CRI) is one of the most serious complications of the use of central venous catheters (CVCs), with an incidence of 2–30/1000 days in different studies. No major prospective study has evaluated the rate of CRI in Scandinavia. Since 1999, we have had a thorough programme for the insertion and care of all CVCs used at our hospital and its outpatient clinics. The purpose of this survey was to study the incidence of catheter tip colonization and CRI and their risk factors, and to compare these data with previous non-Scandinavian studies. Methods: 

We studied prospectively 605 CVCs in 456 patients in relation to insertion data, patient and catheter characteristics, catheterization time and microbiological cultures. Risk factors were analysed by multivariate analysis. Results: 

Four hundred and ninety-five (82%) of all CVCs were assessed completely. The total catheterization time was 9010 days. The incidence of positive tip culture was 7.66/1000 days, and the predominant microorganism was coagulase-negative staphylococci. The incidence of CRI was 1.55/1000 days, and the only significant risk factor was the duration of catheterization with a relative risk of 1.009 per day [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.003–1.015]. Of the 14 cases with CRI, six were associated with candida species, and five of these were diagnosed in the intensive care unit. Conclusion: 

In comparison with non-Scandinavian studies, our practice of strict basic hygiene routines for CVC insertion and care is associated with a low incidence of CRI. However, there was a high proportion of candida species amongst these infections. The only risk factor for CRI was the duration of catheterization.

Keywords: candida species; catheter-related infection; central venous catheter (CVC); nosocomial infection

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care and

Publication date: April 1, 2006


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