ATLANTA, April 4 (UPI) -- U.S. health officials published guidelines to help eliminate catheter-related bloodstream infections, one of the most deadly and costly threats to patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee say the guidelines -- published in Clinical Infectious and in a special supplement to the American Journal of Infection Control -- were developed by clinical scientists from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Critical Care Medicine Department and 14 professional organizations.
"Preventing these infections is an excellent example of how hospitals and other health care facilities can improve patient care and save lives, all while reducing excess medical costs," Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement.
Dr. Naomi O'Grady of the NIH, the lead author, said catheter-related bloodstream infections -- like many infections in healthcare -- are now seen as largely preventable. The infection control guidelines include:
-- Educating and training healthcare personnel.
-- Using maximal sterile barrier precautions -- masks, gowns, gloves, drape patient -- during catheter insertion.
-- Cleaning skin with chlorhexidine, an antibacterial scrub, and avoiding routine replacement of certain catheters.