Bloodstream infection rates: PICC vs CVC

One discussion this week involved the comparison of bloodstream infection rates with PICCs vs CVCs.

Reference: Chopra V, et al. The risk of bloodstream infection associated with peripherally inserted central catheters compared with central venous catheters in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysisInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2013 Sep;34(9):908-918. doi:10.1086/671737.

Summary: In 23 studies involving 57,250 patients, pooled meta-analyses revealed that PICCs were associated with a lower risk of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) than were CVCs. A subgroup analysis further showed that CLABSI reduction was greatest in outpatients (RR [95% CI], 0.22 [0.18-0.27]) compared with hospitalized patients who received PICCs (RR [95% CI], 0.73 [0.54-0.98]).

The authors conclude that although PICCs are associated with a lower risk of CLABSI than CVCs in outpatients, hospitalized patients may be just as likely to experience CLABSI with PICCs as with CVCs. Consideration of risks and benefits before PICC use in inpatient settings is warranted.

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