Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
DefinitionA central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream through a central line catheter . A central line catheter is a long, thin tube that is inserted through a vein until it reaches a larger vein close to the heart. It is used to deliver medication, nutrition, IV fluids, and chemotherapy.
|Chemotherapy Through the Bloodstream|
|A central line catheter can be used to deliver chemotherapy.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesBacteria normally live on the skin. These bacteria will sometimes track along the outside of the catheter. From the catheter, they can get into the bloodstream.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of a CLABSI:
- Having a catheter for a long time
- Having a catheter that is not coated with an antimicrobial—a substance that kills bacteria
- Having a catheter inserted into a vein in the thigh
- Having a weakened immune system
- Being in the intensive care unit
- Having an infection elsewhere in the body or skin
SymptomsCLABSI may cause:
- Fast heart rate
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness at the catheter site
- Drainage from catheter site
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