Prevention of central venous line associated bloodstream infections in adult intensive care units

Despite the potential benefits central venous lines can have for patients, there is a high risk of bloodstream infection associated with these catheters | Intensive and Critical Care Nursing


Aim: Identify and critique the best available evidence regarding interventions to prevent central venous line associated bloodstream infections in adult intensive care unit patients other than anti-microbial catheters.

Methods: A systematic review of studies published from January 2007 to February 2016 was undertaken. A systematic search of seven databases was carried out: MEDLINE; CINAHL Plus; EMBASE; PubMed; Cochrane Library; Scopus and Google Scholar. Studies were critically appraised by three independent reviewers prior to inclusion.

Results: Nineteen studies were included. A range of interventions were found to be used for the prevention or reduction of central venous line associated bloodstream infections. These interventions included dressings, closed infusion systems, aseptic skin preparation, central venous line bundles, quality improvement initiatives, education, an extra staff in the Intensive Care Unit and the participation in the ‘On the CUSP: Stop Blood Stream Infections’ national programme.

Conclusions: Central venous line associated bloodstream infections can be reduced by a range of interventions including closed infusion systems, aseptic technique during insertion and management of the central venous line, early removal of central venous lines and appropriate site selection.

Full reference: Velasquez Reyes, D.C. et al. (2017) Prevention of central venous line associated bloodstream infections in adult intensive care units: A systematic review. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Published online: 26 June 2017

An Official American Thoracic Society Systematic Review: The Effect of Night time Intensivist Staffing on Mortality and Length of Stay among Intensive Care Unit Patients

This systematic review by Kerlin et al was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in 2017.  The fullajrccm-2016-194-issue-6-cover
text of the article is available to subscribers to this journal via this link
.  The Library and Knowledge Service can obtain the full text of the article for registered members by requesting it via the library website document request form.

Background:  Studies of night time intensivist staffing have yielded mixed results.

Goals:  To review the association of night time intensivist staffing with outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

Methods:  We searched five databases (2000–2016) for studies comparing in-hospital night time intensivist staffing with other night time staffing models in adult ICUs and reporting mortality or length of stay. We abstracted data on staffing models, outcomes, and study characteristics and assessed study quality, using standardized tools. Meta-analyses used random effects models.

Results:  Eighteen studies met inclusion criteria: one randomized controlled trial and 17 observational studies. Overall methodologic quality was high. Studies included academic hospitals (n = 10), community hospitals (n = 2), or both (n = 6). Baseline clinician staffing included residents (n = 9), fellows (n = 4), and nurse practitioners or physician assistants (n = 2). Studies included both general and specialty ICUs and were geographically diverse. Meta-analysis (one randomized controlled trial; three nonrandomized studies with exposure limited to night time intensivist staffing with adjusted estimates of effect) demonstrated no association with mortality (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.75–1.29). Secondary analyses including studies without risk adjustment, with a composite exposure of organizational factors, stratified by intensity of daytime staffing and by ICU type, yielded similar results. Minimal or no differences were observed in ICU and hospital length of stay and several other secondary outcomes.

Conclusions:  Notwithstanding limitations of the predominantly observational evidence, our systematic review and meta-analysis suggests night time intensivist staffing is not associated with reduced ICU patient mortality. Other outcomes and alternative staffing models should be evaluated to further guide staffing decisions.

The role of total cell-free DNA in predicting outcomes among trauma patients in the intensive care unit: a systematic review

This systematic review by Gogenur et al was published in the journal Critical Care in early 2017.  The full text of the article is fully available via this link

Background:  Cell-free DNA has been proposed as a means of predicting complications among severely injured patients. The purpose of this systematic review was to assess whether cell-free DNA was useful as a prognostic biomarker for outcomes in trauma patients in the intensive care unit.

Methods:  We searched Pubmed, Embase, Scopus and the Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials and reference lists of relevant articles for studies that assessed the prognostic value of cell-free DNA detection in trauma patients in the intensive care unit. Outcomes of interest included survival, posttraumatic complications and severity of trauma. Due to considerable heterogeneity between the included studies, a checklist was formed to assess quality of cell-free DNA measurement.

Results:  A total of 14 observational studies, including 904 patients, were eligible for analysis. Ten studies were designed as prospective cohort studies; three studies included selected patients from a cohort while one study was of a retrospective design. We found a significant correlation between higher values of cell-free DNA and higher mortality. This significant correlation was evident as early as on intensive care unit admission. Likewise, cell-free DNA predicted the severity of trauma and posttraumatic complications in a majority of patients.

Conclusion:  The amount of cell-free DNA can function as a prognostic tool for mortality and to a lesser extent severity of trauma and posttraumatic complications. Standardizing cell-free DNA measurement is paramount to ensure further research in cell-free DNA as a prognostic tool.

Can high-flow nasal cannula reduce the rate of endotracheal intubation in adult patients with acute respiratory failure compared with conventional oxygen therapy and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation?

This systematic review and meta analysis by Ni et al was published in the January 2017 issue of the journal Chest.

Background:  The effects of high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) on adult patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) are controversial. We aimed to further determine the effectiveness of HFNC in reducing the rate of endotracheal intubation in adult patients with ARF by comparison to noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) and conventional oxygen therapy (COT).

Methods:  The Pubmed, Embase, Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) as well as the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) Web of Science were searched for all the controlled studies that compared HFNC with NIPPV and COT in adult patients having ARF. The primary outcome was the rate of endotracheal intubation and the secondary outcomes were intensive care unit (ICU) mortality and length of ICU stay (ICU LOS).

Results:  Eighteen trials with a total of 3881 patients were pooled in our final studies. Except for ICU mortality (I2=67%, χ2=12.21, P=0.02) and rate of endotracheal intubation (I2=63%, χ2=13.51, P=0.02) between HFNC and NIPPV, no significant heterogeneity was found in outcome measures. Compared with COT, HFNC was associated with a lower rate of endotracheal intubation (Z=2.55, P=0.01), while no significant difference was found in the comparison with NIPPV (Z=1.40, P=0.16). As for the ICU mortality and ICU LOS, HFNC did not show any advantage over either COT or NIPPV.

Conclusions:  In patients with ARF, HFNC is a more reliable alternative of NIPPV to reduce rate of endotracheal intubation than COT.


The full text of the article is available to subscribers to this journal via this link.  The Library and Knowledge Service can obtain the full text of the article for registered members by requesting one via the library website request form.

Albumin administration for fluid resuscitation in burn patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

This systematic review by Eliajek et al was published in the open access journal Burns.  The full text of this open access article is available to all via this link.

Objective:  The objective was to systematically review the literature summarizing the effect on mortality of albumin compared to non-albumin solutions during the fluid resuscitation phase of burn injured patients.

Data sources:  We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL and the content of two leading journals in burn care, Burns and Journal of Burn Care and Research.

Study selection:  Two reviewers independently selected randomized controlled trials comparing albumin vs. non-albumin solutions for the acute resuscitation of patients with >20% body surface area involvement.

Data extraction:  Reviewers abstracted data independently and assessed methodological quality of the included trials using predefined criteria.

Data synthesis:  A random effects model was used to assess mortality. We identified 164 trials of which, 4 trials involving 140 patients met our inclusion criteria. Overall, the methodological quality of the included trials was fair. We did not find a significant benefit of albumin solutions as resuscitation fluid on mortality in burn patients (relative risk (RR) 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.63–4.08). Total volume of fluid infusion during the phase of resuscitation was lower in patients receiving albumin containing solution −1.00 ml/kg/%TBSA (total body surface area) (95% CI, −1.42 to −0.58).

Conclusion:  The pooled estimate demonstrated a neutral effect on mortality in burn patients resuscitated acutely with albumin solutions. Due to limited evidence and uncertainty, an adequately powered, high quality trial could be required to assess the impact of albumin solutions on mortality in burn patients.

Use of noninvasive ventilation in immunocompromised patients with acute respiratory failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This multi-centred study by Aubron et al was published in Critical Care in December 2017.  The full text of this open access article is available to all via this link.

Background:  Acute respiratory failure (ARF) remains a common hazardous complication in immunocompromised patients and is associated with increased mortality rates when endotracheal intubation is needed. We aimed to evaluate the effect of early noninvasive ventilation (NIV) compared with oxygen therapy alone in this patient population.

Methods:  We searched for relevant studies in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane database up to 25 July 2016. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they reported data on any of the predefined outcomes in immunocompromised patients managed with NIV or oxygen therapy alone. Results were expressed as risk ratio (RR) and mean difference (MD) with accompanying 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results:  Five RCTs with 592 patients were included. Early NIV significantly reduced short-term mortality (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.97, p = 0.04) and intubation rate (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.85, p = 0.01) when compared with oxygen therapy alone, with significant heterogeneity in these two outcomes between the pooled studies. In addition, early NIV was associated with a shorter length of ICU stay (MD −1.71 days, 95% CI −2.98 to 1.44, p = 0.008) but not long-term mortality (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.15, p = 0.46).

Conclusions:  The limited evidence indicates that early use of NIV could reduce short-term mortality in selected immunocompromised patients with ARF. Further studies are needed to identify in which selected patients NIV could be more beneficial, before wider application of this ventilator strategy.

Is platelet transfusion associated with hospital-acquired infections in critically ill patients?

This systematic review by Huang et al was published in Critical Care in December 2017.  The full text of this open access article is available to all via this link.

Background:  Platelets are commonly transfused to critically ill patients. Reports suggest an association between platelet transfusion and infection. However, there is no large study to have determined whether platelet transfusion in critically ill patients is associated with hospital-acquired infection.

Methods:  We conducted a multi-centre study using prospectively maintained databases of two large academic intensive care units (ICUs) in Australia. Characteristics of patients who received platelets in ICUs between 2008 and 2014 were compared to those of patients who did not receive platelets. Association between platelet administration and infection (bacteraemia and/or bacteriuria) was modelled using multiple logistic regression and Cox regression, with blood components as time-varying covariates. A propensity covariate adjustment was also performed to verify results.

Results:  Of the 18,965 patients included, 2250 (11.9%) received platelets in ICU with a median number of 1 platelet unit (IQR 1–3) administered. Patients who received platelets were more severely ill at ICU admission (mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score 65 (SD 29) vs 52 (SD 25), p < 0.01) and had more comorbidities (31% vs 19%, p < 0.01) than patients without platelet transfusion. Invasive mechanical ventilation (87% vs 57%, p < 0.01) and renal replacement therapy (20% vs 4%, p < 0.01) were more frequently administered in patients receiving platelets than in patients without platelets. On univariate analysis, platelet transfusion was associated with hospital-acquired infection in the ICU (7.7% vs 1.4%, p < 0.01). After adjusting for confounders, including other blood components administered, patient severity, centre, year, and diagnosis category, platelet transfusions were independently associated with infection (adjusted OR 2.56 95% CI 1.98–3.31, p < 0.001). This association was also found in survival analysis with blood components as time-varying covariates (adjusted HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.41–2.41, p < 0.001) and when only bacteraemia was considered (adjusted OR 3.30, 95% CI 2.30–4.74, p <0.001). Platelet transfusions remained associated with infection after propensity covariate adjustment.

Conclusions:  After adjustment for confounders, including patient severity and other blood components, platelet transfusion was independently associated with ICU-acquired infection. Further research aiming to better understand this association and to prevent this complication is warranted.