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Bloodstream infections in home infusion patients: the influence of race and needleless intravascular access devices


OBJECTIVES: To determine the cause of increased central venous catheter-associated (CVC) bloodstream infection (BSI) rates in a cohort of pediatric hematology /oncology patients receiving home health care (HHC).

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of hematology/oncology patients with CVCs receiving HHC from January 1992 through November 1994.

RESULTS: Of 182 patients with CVCs identified during the study period, 58 (32%) acquired 90 BSIs during 75,085 CVC days. BSI rates increased significantly from 1992 through 1994 (0.8 vs 1.0 vs 1.7 BSIs per 1000 CVC days; p < 0.005). Known risk factors, including catheter type, patient age less than 5 years, sex, or diagnosis, were not associated with increased BSI rates. After introduction of needleless devices for CVC access to the HHC regimen in May 1993, BSI rates increased 80% (from 0.81 to 1.46 BSIs/1000 CVC days, relative risk 1.8; p < 0.02). The only other significant risk factor was the race of the patient. White children had the lowest BSI rate before and after needleless-device introduction (0.4 vs 0.9 BSIs/1000 CVC days; p > 0.1), whereas black patients had the highest, unaffected by the introduction of these devices (2.5 BSIs/1000 CVC days). Both Hispanic (0.5 vs 1.6 BSIs/1000 CVC days) and Asian-American children’s (0.4 vs 1.5 BSIs/1000 CVC days) BSI rates increased threefold and fourfold after the introduction of needleless devices.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that pediatric hematology/oncology patients receiving HHC via needleless devices may have an increased risk of BSIs, and this risk may vary by race. We hypothesize that prevention of BSIs may require consideration of cultural, ethnic, and language differences when parents are trained to provide care for their children with CVCs in the home.

Kellerman S, Shay DK, Howard J, Goes C, Feusner J, Rosenberg J, Vugia DJ, Jarvis WR

J. Pediatr. 1996 Nov;129(5):711-7

PMID: 8917238