Last updated 20/03/2013

The use of catheters to deliver treatment into a patient’s blood stream and monitor their progress is common practice. However the process creates a potential entry point for infection. Of particular concern are blood stream infections caused by central line catheters which are inserted into the blood vessels near the heart. Such infections are known as central line associated bacteraemia (CLAB) and their prevention is vital in the fight against healthcare associated infections.

CLAB can lead to longer hospital stays and associated costs. The cost of each CLAB is estimated to be between $20,000 and $54,000.

The Commission has entered into a partnership with Counties Manukau DHB to implement a programme to reduce the incidence of CLAB in hospitals. Counties Manukau DHB is running this programme through Ko Awatea, with the aim of reducing the CLAB rate to nearly zero (<1 per 1000 line days) by 2013.

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