Munson Health
Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

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by Kellicker PG




A 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 .
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If bacteria start to grow on the central line catheter, they can easily enter the blood and cause a serious infection. This can lead to a condition called sepsis , which occurs when bacteria overwhelm the body.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Society of Critical Care Medicine



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Central venous catheter. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated July 25, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Central venous catheterization. American Thoracic Society website. Available at: . Accessed August 8, 2013.

FAQs: Catheter-associated bloodstream infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: . Accessed August 8, 2013.

Marschall J, Mermel LA, Classen D, et al. Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute care hospitals. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008;29 Suppl 1:S22-30.


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