Consumer Reports recently completed an analysis
of central-line bloodstream infection rates at 926 hospitals in 43
states. Only 11% of these hospitals reported no central-line
bloodstream infections in a minimum of 1,000 central-lines days.
Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital was among the 11% that reported
zero infections, at more than 2,000 days.
account for at least 30 percent of the estimated 99,000 annual hospital
infection related deaths in the United States, according to Consumer
Reports. Even those who survive a central-line infection must endure
weeks or months of treatments and side effects. A 2008 Massachusetts
state law requires all hospitals to report their infection rates.
What is a central line?
Central lines are used in an Intensive Care Unit to get large amounts
of fluid - medicine, blood, nutrition - to the body in a short amount
of time. They are different from a typical IV because they are larger
and can stay in place for weeks or even months. These long, flexible
catheters thread through a large vein leading to the heart. Every time
a medical professional touches that line or the skin surrounding it,
there's a risk of introducing bacterial contamination which spreads
quickly through the body unless strict sterile conditions are observed.