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Measuring line-related bacteraemia in intensive care patients


All patients with an intravascular device in the intensive care units at Prince of Wales and Prince Henry Hospitals between July and September 1995 were followed for the development of line-related bacteraemia per 1000 line days. Cases of sepsis related to an intravascular device were identified using a case definition which incorporated clinical and laboratory parameters. Data were collected prospectively for the dates of insertion and removal of devices for 188 lines inserted in 69 patients. The majority (90%) of lines had both date of insertion and removal documented allowing the calculation of the rate of primary bacteraemia over 832 at-risk line days. Multiple concurrent lines were more common (88.4%) than single lines, with one central and one or two peripheral lines being the most common (42.3%) combination. Five cases of bacteraemia were diagnosed clinically and confirmed microbiologically. The incidence density of primary bacteraemia was 6.0 per 1000 line days (CI 95% 5.7 - 6.3).

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