When a surgery does not go according to plan

Patients place their trust in hospitals and medical professionals. Sadly, visits to the hospital for routine procedures sometimes result in blood infections – meaning longer than planned stays, and even serious complications. Fortunately, there are proven ways to reduce the risk of infection.

An unwelcome visitor to the patient: blood infection

Clara R. entered Strasbourg University Hospital in France for a planned gynecological procedure. Before the four-hour surgery, the nurse set the venous access above the wrist. All went according to plan – until the next day. While in stationary care, the 32-year-old Clara experienced pain around the puncture site. Her skin turned red and hot. “It became very painful for me to flex my wrist,” recalls Clara. “And after a few hours, I saw the swelling and redness had extended up my entire arm.”

Asepsis breach: a daily risk

When an asepsis break occurs at the site of a peripheral venous catheterization, the site becomes infected. Unfortunately, it happens far too frequently. Of the approximately 122 million infusions that occur each year in Europe, 960,000 result in blood infections1,2. The consequences can be far more harmful to the patient’s health than the initial cause for hospitalization. Clara says, “My husband Phillipe is an OR nurse, so we were well aware of the potential frightening consequences.”

A patient’s struggle

a patient's struggle

Clara and her husband felt helpless. The outcome can be deadly: CLABSI is associated with mortality rates of 15-25% worldwide3. Additionally, secondary manifestations of Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) can develop, such as cardiac valve infection (endocarditis) or bone infection (osteomyelitis).

In Clara’s case, her infection was not so severe, but still it was very stressful and impacted her recovery.

“The doctors began a course of antibiotics immediately, but I had to stay two days longer in the hospital and was sick an additional ten days after I returned home. It was a very exhausting time.”

Philippe R., OR nurse and patient’s husband
Philippe R., OR nurse and patient’s husband
"The risk of an infection with venous peripheral catheterization should never be underestimated. The consequences are simply too harmful – and sometimes deadly."

A nurse’s challenge

High rates of vascular access associated infections like CLABSI also lead to higher levels of stress for medical professionals, who care deeply about their patients. They seek improvement by establishing and maintaining standardized practices or looking for products which can make procedures easier and safer. Meanwhile, hospitals are faced with higher costs and a damaged reputation when they are connected with high rates of infection.

Visual aids help remind staff of the steps to follow in order to reduce the spread of infection. Easy to read and easy to share!

Download the infographic "10 tips for healthcare professionals"

Preventing CLABSI in vascular access procedures

preventing CLABSI

There are many circumstances which make fighting infection a daily struggle. However, it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Infection is preventable! There are scientifically established procedures that are proven to reduce CLABSI rates by up to 70%4.

Medical care centers and hospitals can support staff by adopting outcome-oriented solutions. These combine sterile, easy-to-use, pre-packed Infusion MediSets® with training and digital aids to support a high level of adherence to aseptic techniques and standardized protocols.

Let us 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.

1European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Healthcare-associated infections – a threat to patient safety in Europe, ECDC, 2018.
2Suetens 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.
4Zingg et al. (2014) Hospital-Wide Multidisciplinary, Multimodal Intervention Programme to Reduce Central Venous Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infection. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93898.