Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI)

What is a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) in healthcare?

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are a type of healthcare-associated blood infection that occur from the site of a central venous catheter, also known as a central line. A central line is a long, thin tube inserted through a chest vein and threaded into the heart. These catheters are used to administer medications or fluids or to draw blood.  

CLABSIs can occur when bacteria or other organisms enter the bloodstream through the central line. The severity of a CLABSI can range from mild to life-threatening, and the infection can spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms of CLABSI include fever, chills, and irritation around the site of the catheter. Treatment for a CLABSI typically involves antibiotics and removal of the central line.  

Why is a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) important to understand in healthcare?

CLABSIs are a major concern for healthcare providers because they can lead to additional health complications, prolonged hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and, in severe cases, death. To help prevent these infections, healthcare providers should follow strict hygiene and sterilization procedures when inserting and caring for central lines.  

In addition, patients should be instructed on the proper care of their catheters and should be monitored closely for any signs or symptoms of infection. By taking these precautions, healthcare providers can help to reduce the incidence of CLABSI and improve patient outcomes