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How can patients and hospitals prevent CLASBIs?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Patients in intensive care units and other inpatient hospital settings may acquire central line-associated bloodstream infections or CLASBIs. These all-too-common hospital-acquired infections result from germs entering patients’ bloodstream via central lines or catheters placed in large veins in the groin, neck or chest.

CLASBIs may cause extended hospital stays, worsened medical conditions and death. Patients and healthcare providers alike may take steps to help prevent CLASBIs. 

What should healthcare workers do?

Hospital and clinic workers play the primary role in protecting patients and maintaining safe environments. However, this doesn’t always happen when people don’t follow safety regulations.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CLASBI prevention protocols for healthcare providers include:

  • Using full-barrier precautions when inserting central venous catheters, including sterile gloves, a face mask, a cap and a sterile gown that has neck snaps
  • Using a large, sterile drape to completely cover the patient while inserting a central line
  • Using appropriate hand hygiene techniques before inserting, maintaining or otherwise touching patients’ catheters
  • Removing unnecessary catheters

These measures maximize the safety and cleanliness of procedures involving central lines. Failing to follow them properly can put patients at a serious risk of infection.

What can patients do?

Patients may not have control over hospital workers or the performance of specific medical procedures, but there are some ways they can protect themselves while in a hospital.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients may protect against this type of hospital-acquired infection by avoiding touching their tubing as much as possible. Additionally, they should ask that their visitors refrain from touching their catheters or tubing.

Patients may also talk to their physicians to understand why they need the catheter and how long they will have it in place. The less time they need the catheter, the less likely they are to develop a CLASBI. 

Preventing CLASBIs is a collaborative effort that requires vigilance and adherence to safety protocols by both healthcare providers and patients. With education, awareness and strict compliance with prevention strategies, we can minimize the impact of CLASBIs within hospital settings.