When receiving medical care, some patients in New York, and elsewhere, may require central catheters. Also known as central lines, these catheters are typically placed into large veins in the arm, chest, groin or neck. Much like the more common IV catheters, central lines are generally used to administer medications and fluids, as well as to draw blood. Unfortunately, some patients may develop central line-associated bloodstream infections if proper care is not taken when inserting and maintaining central catheters.
Central line-associated bloodstream infections, or CLASBIs, are a serious medical ailment. This type of infection may develop when bacteria or other germs enter the bloodstream through central lines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that patients in intensive care units develop more than 30,000 CLASBIs every year.
There are numerous factors that may increase patients’ chances of developing CLASBIs. If medical professionals do not use proper hand hygiene or follow the appropriate insertion and maintenance protocols, it may result in their patients’ suffering CLASBIs. Further, patients who are already suffering from an infection somewhere else in their skin or body, as well as those who have a weakened immune system may be at an increased risk of a CLASBI. Additionally, having a catheter in for an extended period of time, having a central line inserted in the thigh and having a catheter that is not antimicrobial may also contribute to patients developing CLASBIs.
Patients who develop CLASBIs may suffer from a range of symptoms. CVS Pharmacy points out that some of the most common of these include the following:
- Tenderness around the central line insertion site
- Redness around central catheter insertion site
- Swelling at the central line insertion site
- Elevated heart rate
In addition, CLASBIs may cause nausea and vomiting. Some patients may also have drainage from their catheter insertion site. These types of infections may be particularly dangerous for patients who are already suffering from serious medical conditions.
As a result of CLASBIs, patients may need additional medical treatment. Often, people require antibiotics to treat their infections. In some cases, they may also require a prolonged medical stay.