Catheter infection risk related to the distance between insertion site and burned area

The Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation
Guillermo E RamosFortunato Benaim


A prospective observational study of central venous catheters (CVC) was carried out in order to determine if a CVC inserted near an open burn wound increases catheter infection risk in burned patients. The study was carried out during a 12-month period (1998-1999) at the Benaim Foundation's Burn Unit in Buenos Aires (C.E.P.A.Q.). Eighty-three CVCs were inserted in 20 burned patients during the study period. Twenty-six catheters were inserted near an open wound (NOW) and 57 far from an open wound (FOW). NOW CVCs were considered when 25 cm2 surrounding the catheter's insertion site overlapped the wound. Colonization rates were 84% (22/26 CVCs) in those inserted NOW and 47% (27/57 CVCs) in FOW (P = 0.001). Colonization relative risk of NOW-CVCs was 1.79 (95% confidence interval, 1.3-2.46). Bacteremia rates were 27% (7/26 CVCs) in CVCs inserted NOW and 6% (3/57 CVCs) in FOW (P = 0.004). Bacteremic risk of NOW-CVCs was 5.12 (95% confidence interval, 1.44-18.22). Colonization rates were higher and sooner in NOW-CVCs than in FOW-CVCs. We suggest that insertion of catheters near an open burn wound should be avoided and, if inevitable, should not be left in place for period exceeding 3 days.


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