Author(s): Bouza E, Muoz P, Burillo A, LpezRodrguez J, FernndezPrez C,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Patients undergoing heart surgery show a high risk of catheter colonization and catheter-related bloodstream infections. We evaluated whether skin insertion site and catheter hub surveillance cultures ("surface cultures") could predict catheter colonization and help establish the origin of bloodstream infections. DESIGN: : Prospective cohort study. SETTING: An 11-bed heart surgery intensive care unit in a tertiary university hospital. PATIENTS: Heart surgery patients spending >4 days in intensive care over an 11-month period. INTERVENTIONS: All catheters were surveyed. Cultures were obtained from the skin insertion site and all hubs on day 5 after surgery, every 72 hrs thereafter, and on catheter removal. Swabs were processed semiquantitatively by streaking the surface of a Columbia agar plate. Catheters were processed using Maki's method. The observation of > or = 15 colonies/plate was taken to indicate a positive skin or catheter colonization culture result. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Over the study period, 561 catheters were inserted in 130 patients. The median time a catheter was in place was 6 days (interquartile range 3-11), and 3,712 surface cultures were obtained (median four per patient). Catheter colonization occurred in 133 catheters, and there were 15 episodes of catheter-related bloodstream infection (incidence density of colonization 29.3 and of catheter-related bloodstream infection 8.8 per 1,000 catheter-days). Validity indexes for the capacity of surface cultures to predict catheter colonization and catheter-related bloodstream infection, respectively, were as follows: accuracy, 71.4, 65.6; sensitivity, 83.5\%, 100\%; specificity, 67.1\%, 64.7\%; positive predictive value, 47.6\%, 7.2\%; negative predictive value, 91.9\%, 100\%; positive likelihood ratio, 2.5, 2.83; and negative likelihood ratio, 0.2, 0. Surface cultures correctly predicted 77.4\% of all bacteremia episodes (catheter-related and non-catheter-related). CONCLUSIONS: Systematic surveillance cultures of catheter hub and skin insertion sites in patients admitted to a heart surgery intensive care unit could help identify patients who would benefit from decontamination and preventive measures and establish whether catheters are the portal of entry of bloodstream infection.
This article was published in Crit Care Med
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy