Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI)

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and costs. Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at an increased risk for CLABSI, because 48 percent of ICU patients have indwelling central venous catheters, accounting for 15 million central line days per year in U.S. ICUs. Assuming an average CLABSI rate of 5.3 per 1,000 catheter days and an attributable mortality of 18 percent (0-35 percent), as many as 28,000 patients die from CLABSI annually in U.S. ICUs. AHRQ's efforts to reduce CLABSI are reflected in the following tools, research, and resources.

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Tools

Tools for Reducing Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections
These tools will help each unit implement evidence-based practices and eliminate central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI). When used with the CUSP (Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program) Toolkit, these tools dramatically reduced CLABSI rates in more than 1,000 hospitals across the country.

Research

PSNet
AHRQ's PSNet (Patient Safety Network) highlights research on CLABSI. Included studies range from the use of health care simulation and unit-based nurse educators to reduce CLABSI to studies showing safety programs leading to marked reduction in CLABSI and related cost savings.

Innovations Exchange
AHRQ's Innovations Exchange explores CLABSI-related innovations.

Resources

Eliminating CLABSI, A National Patient Safety Imperative: Final Report
This report summarizes the results and lessons learned from an AHRQ-funded national effort to prevent CLABSI.

Eliminating CLABSI, A National Patient Safety Imperative: Neonatal CLABSI Prevention
This report on AHRQ's national neonatal CLABSI prevention project provides an overview of the project and its accomplishments.

High-Performance Work Practices in CLABSI Prevention Interventions
This report, based on interviews with participants in AHRQ's CUSP national implementation project, describes practices and "success factors" for reducing and eliminating CLABSI in health care facilities.