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Children’s neonatal unit cuts central line infections

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Women & Children’s Hospital recently marked one year free of central line infections, a milestone in the area of quality improvement for the tiniest of patients.

Central Line-associated Blood Stream Infection happens when bacteria is introduced into the bloodstream at the time of insertion of the central line or during line maintenance. Such infection raises the risk of infant death, can increase a hospital stay and can create long-term developmental difficulties, said Dr. Anne Marie Reynolds, medical director of the NICU.

The unit team updated its best practices for line maintenance in 2014, taking a comprehensive approach that included staff education, standardized tubing sets and a new method for changing lines.

“I am extremely proud to have worked with a very dedicated multidisciplinary team that led this initiative,” Reynolds said in a news release. The regional perinatal center cares for about 70 babies per year with an average birth weight of about 2 pounds, 3 ounces. During the last four years, 78 percent of these babies survived to discharge, higher than the national benchmark during that time frame of 74 percent.


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