Study finds bloodstream infections cut by 85 percent

A study by UNC researchers found that central-line associated bloodstream infections have been cut by 85 percent at UNC Hospitals over the past 10 years.

About 887 infections and 244 deaths were prevented by the improvement, saving the hospital system more than $20 million, according to the study.

The large drop is a result of the implementation of better practices and further education of the risks associated with catheter use, said William A. Rutala, director of Hospital Epidemiology and one of the study’s four authors.

A central line is a tube inserted near the heart that can transport fluids or monitor vital signs.

Central-line associated bloodstream infections cause more than 30,000 deaths in U.S. hospitals each year.

The study was published in the August issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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