Improved sterile technique diminishes the incidence of positive line cultures in cardiovascular patients

D. A. Bull, L. A. Neumayer, G. C. Hunter, G. K. Sethi, K. E. McIntyre, V. M. Bernhard, C. W. Putnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In order to determine the incidence of positive line cultures, especially as affected by differing protocols for line insertion, cultures were obtained from lines in residence for up to 4 days from cardiac patients (who received Cefuroxime) and vascular patients (who received Cefazolin) as prophylaxis perioperatively. Positive cultures were obtained from 95 (19%) of 496 lines in cardiac patients and 83 (31%) of 261 lines in vascular patients. There was a linear relationship between duration of line residence and the incidence of positive line cultures, increasing from 14% on Day 1 to 33% on Day 4. The use of full sterile technique at the time of insertion halved the incidence of subsequent positive line cultures. Four of the 403 (1%) patients each had a single episode of postoperative line sepsis. Another four patients developed wound infections with the same organisms as cultured from their lines. One patient has had a vascular graft infection with the same organism cultured as was isolated from a Swan-Ganz line 1 year previously. These data suggest that monitoring lines should be inserted using full sterile technique and removed as soon as the patient is hemodynamically stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-110
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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