CLABSI: the risks are real

90% of all patients1 admitted to a hospital receive an IV catheter. Yet, behind this seemingly well-practiced procedure lies a serious danger of infection. Learn about ways to reduce the risks.

CLABSI: the facts to know

Nurses, medical care workers and doctors perform countless intravenous (IV) access procedures every day. But many medical professionals are not fully aware of the rates of Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) in hospitals and medical care centers. Of the approximately 122 million infusions carried out every year in Europe, 960,000 infections occur as a result. CLABSI is one of the most common vascular-related complications and nearly 60% of all healthcare-acquired infections (HAI)2 result from a vascular access device.
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The consequences can be deadly: CLABSI is associated with mortality rates of 15-25% worldwide3. Additionally, secondary manifestations of CLABSI can develop, such as cardiac valve infection (endocarditis) or bone infection (osteomyelitis).

Blood infections lead to longer hospital stays, prolonged antimicrobial therapy for patients and skyrocketing costs for hospitals. Costs associated with CLABSI reach up to 4 billion euros a year in Europe4,5,6.

CLABSI: what goes wrong?

An asepsis breach commonly occurs during these key points: at catheter insertion, when changing dressings, or when handling the line. Of course, major factors contributing to blood infection are poor hand hygiene and a lack of product sterilization. Medical professionals are trained and fully aware of the measures to prevent infection. However, circumstances work against them.

Today, hospitals and medical professionals feel the stress of high numbers of patients coupled with staff shortages. There is often less time for patients and double checking each step in a procedure, let alone finding time to optimize protocols.

A high turnover of trained clinicians also means staff are not all trained to the same standard operating procedures, which leads to inconsistencies in handling.

Finally, juggling products and devices for a blood transfusion can open too many doors to infection. Too much time is spent gathering supplies, or individual components are not properly disinfected.

prof Assadian
Professor Ojan Assadian, Medical Director of the Hospital Wiener Neustadt, Austria and Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, University of Huddersfield, UK.
"There are two aspects to reducing infection. First, training of medical staff; and second, the availability of more smartly designed, sterile medical sets, which have proven to be clinically effective and safe."

Let’s reduce rates of CLABSI

The good news is that there are scientifically established procedures proven to reduce CLABSI rates by up to 70%7.

Medical care centers and hospitals need to support outcome-oriented solutions that combine an action plan of best practices with the use of sterilized infusion sets in a product bundle.

HARTMANN has devised its own unique, multi-modal approach to reducing rates of CLABSI. The portfolio combines sterile, easy to use pre-packaged Infusion MediSets® with training and digital aids to support a high level of adherence to aseptic techniques and standardized protocols. We work together with you to tailor solutions to your medical establishment, bringing your tactics for infection prevention to a new level of effectiveness and safety.

Learn more about the 5 MediSets® for peripheral venous catheterization.
11. Helm RE, Klausner JD, Klemperer JD, Flint LM, Huang E. Accepted but unacceptable: peripheral IV catheter failure. J Infus Nurs 2015; 38(3): 189-203. DOI: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000100
4European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Healthcare-associated infections – a threat to patient safety in Europe, ECDC, 2018
5Suetens et al. Prevalence of healthcare-associated infections, estimated incidence and composite antimicrobial resistance index in acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities: results from two European point prevalence surveys, 2016 to 2017. Euro Surveill. 2018.
6WHO. (May 2011). Report on the burden of endemic health care -associated infection worldwide [Report]. Retrieved from
7Zingg et al. (2014) Hospital-Wide Multidisciplinary, Multimodal Intervention Programme to Reduce Central Venous Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infection. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93898.