Are Antimicrobial-Impregnated Catheters Effective? Don't Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater

Crnich, Christopher J.; Maki, Dennis G.
May 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;5/1/2004, Vol. 38 Issue 9, p1287
Academic Journal
The antimicrobial-impregnated central venous catheter (CVC) has been the most intensively studied technology for the prevention of CVC-related bloodstream infections (BSIs) over the past 30 years. Although more than a dozen randomized trials have shown significant benefit, authors of an analysis published in a recent issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases have raised questions about the efficacy of antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs because of perceived defects in the experimental design of the studies and statistical analyses of the data. They have further argued that even if this technology might be effective in preventing CVC-related BSI, its cost-effectiveness is questionable. Although most of the studies scrutinized by the authors of this analysis indeed had shortcomings, we believe that their analysis unjustifiably downplays a large body of research that has demonstrated a consistent reduction in CVC-related BSI and a clear-cut cost-effectiveness associated with the use of antimicrobial-impregnated CVCs.


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