Central line bloodstream infections are associated with infections that occur during a hospital stay. It often happens with patients in the intensive care unit of the hospital and can be deadly. According to the Institute for Healthcare, these type of infections come from the central line of a catheter. A central line is a tube (catheter) that is placed in a large vein on the patients body. It is often in the groin area but can also be placed in the neck, chest or arm. When bacteria gets into the central line, an infection can ensue. The infection can be extremely dangerous for the patient. According to Shea-Online, this type of infection can be treated with antibiotics.
Signs of central line bloodstream infections are use of the catheter itself accompanied by fever, chills and redness and itching around the area where the catheter is entered into the body of the patient. It would look much like any type of skin infection that you would get around a sore area that gets infected. It is important to look for these signs immediately so that you are able to get treatment started as soon as possible to avoid the patient getting even more ill.
There are ways to prevent getting a central line bloodstream infection. Hospital staff, the patient and anyone in close contact with the patient should be aware of the possibility so that the risk is lowered.
How to prevent central line bloodstream infections:
Catheter- Make certain that the catheter is absolutely necessary. Talk to your doctor to determine what you need it for, how long you will need it and any suggestions to avoid the possible risk of infections.
Hands- It is important that hospital staff members wash and sanitize their hands before placing the catheter in the patient. Just as no surgeon would go into an operation without scrubbing first, it is a good idea to do the same for catheter insertion. The patient and friends/family should never touch the area around the catheter unless they have washed and sanitized their hands as well. This will keep bacteria at bay.
The Skin- Make sure healthcare providers clean the area that the catheter will be placed on the skin. Use an anti-bacterial soap to kill the germs in the area so that on onset of infection doesn’t occur.
Wear Gloves- Healthcare providers should always wear gloves when handling medications for the catheter and any other thing that is going to come into contact with the area of catheterization. Sanitary, latex gloves will do the trick.
Talk to the Doctor- Talk to your doctor or other medical staff if you believe that you are showing signs of central line bloodstream infection. If it is an infection, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics immediately to keep it from getting any worse.
Allowing a central line bloodstream infection to get out of hand can be dangerous. What you see as something minor could turn into something deadly. Get it treated as soon as you realize it is there and it is likely that the infection will go away rather quickly without further incident.