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Catheter Safeguards at Hospitals Cut Bloodstream Infection Rates

Study finds hospitals that adopt new procedures reap sizable improvements, savings

patient on oxygen

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Improved catheter safety measures in hospitals significantly reduce bloodstream infections and health care costs, according to a review published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Teryl Nuckols, M.D., of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data on catheter-related bloodstream infections at 113 U.S. hospitals over the past decade.

The researchers found that, on average, improved catheter safety measures reduced infections by 57 percent. They also lowered the cost of treating such infections by $1.85 million at each hospital over three years.

"Due to the high cost of caring for patients when central-line infections develop, even sizable upfront investments in infection prevention can be associated with large net savings," Nuckols said in a medical center news release. "On the basis of our findings, hospitals that have not yet achieved very low rates of infection can consider implementing a variety of safety practices."

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