Prevention of intravenous bacterial injection from health care provider hands: The importance of catheter design and handling

Randy W. Loftus, Hetal M. Patel, Bridget C. Huysman, David P. Kispert, Matthew D. Koff, John D. Gallagher, Jens T. Jensen, John Rowlands, Sundara Reddy, Thomas M. Dodds, Mark P. Yeager, Kathryn L. Ruoff, Stephen D. Surgenor, Jeremiah R. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND:: Device-related bloodstream infections are associated with a significant increase in patient morbidity and mortality in multiple health care settings. Recently, intraoperative bacterial contamination of conventional open-lumen 3-way stopcock sets has been shown to be associated with increased patient mortality. Intraoperative use of disinfectable, needleless closed catheter devices (DNCCs) may reduce the risk of bacterial injection as compared to conventional open-lumen devices due to an intrinsic barrier to bacterial entry associated with valve design and/or the capacity for surface disinfection. However, the relative benefit of DNCC valve design (intrinsic barrier capacity) as compared to surface disinfection in attenuation of bacterial injection in the clinical environment is untested and entirely unknown. The primary aim of the current study was to investigate the relative efficacy of a novel disinfectable stopcock, the Ultraport zero, with and without disinfection in attenuating intraoperative injection of potential bacterial pathogens as compared to a conventional open-lumen stopcock intravascular device. The secondary aims were to identify risk factors for bacterial injection and to estimate the quantity of bacterial organisms injected during catheter handling. METHODS:: Four hundred sixty-eight operating room environments were randomized by a computer generated list to 1 of 3 device-injection schemes: (1) injection of the Ultraport zero stopcock with hub disinfection before injection, (2) injection of the Ultraport zero stopcock without prior hub disinfection, and (3) injection of the conventional open-lumen stopcock closed with sterile caps according to usual practice. After induction of general anesthesia, the primary anesthesia provider caring for patients in each operating room environment was asked to perform a series of 5 injections of sterile saline through the assigned device into an ex vivo catheter system. The primary outcome was the incidence of bacterial contamination of the injected fluid column (effluent). Risk factors for effluent contamination were identified in univariate analysis, and a controlled laboratory experiment was used to generate an estimate of the bacterial load injected for contaminated effluent samples. RESULTS:: The incidence of effluent bacterial contamination was 0% (0/152) for the Ultraport zero stopcock with hub disinfection before injection, 4% (7/162) for the Ultraport zero stopcock without hub disinfection before injection, and 3.2% (5/154) for the conventional open-lumen stopcock. The Ultraport zero stopcock with hub disinfection before injection was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of bacterial injection as compared to the conventional open-lumen stopcock (RR = 8.15 × 10, 95% CI, 3.39 × 10 to 1.96 × 10, P = <0.001), with an absolute risk reduction of 3.2% (95% CI, 0.5% to 7.4%). Provider glove use was a risk factor for effluent contamination (RR = 10.48, 95% CI, 3.16 to 34.80, P < 0.001). The estimated quantity of bacteria injected reached a clinically significant threshold of 50,000 colony-forming units per each injection series. CONCLUSIONS:: The Ultraport zero stopcock with hub disinfection before injection was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of inadvertent bacterial injection as compared to the conventional open-lumen stopcock. Future studies should examine strategies designed to facilitate health care provider DNCC hub disinfection and proper device handling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1119
Number of pages11
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Volume115
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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