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How to Avoid Intravenous Catheter Infections

Hospitalized patients are at a high risk of developing intravenous borne infections. About two million nosocomial infections, approximately 850,000 are classified as catheter-associated infections (CAIs), with 50,000 categorized by CDC surveillance criteria as catheter-associated bacteremias (CABs). The majority of these infections are associated with central intravenous catheters. The case fatality rate for CABs is more than 20% (10,000 deaths/50,000 cases) and the attributable mortality 35%.


IV catheters can be contaminated with microorganisms in different ways, some of them are through:

  • Contaminated hospital staff hands
  • Contamination of the catheter during insertion or handling
  • Inadequate disinfection of catheter hubs, ports or needleless connectors before accessing the line
  • Skin organisms from the patient that travel through the insertion site
  • Contaminated IV fluids

To avoid developing these infections, medical professionals employ the following methods:

  • Adequate personal hygiene
  • Prepping the wound site with an alcohol/chlorhexidine solution
  • Use maximal sterile barriers (cap, mask, sterile gown, sterile gloves, full body sterile drape)
  • Bathe the patient daily with Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG) using a waterproof catheter cover to keep the area dry.
  • Maintain a clean, dry and tightly bound dressing with Chlorhexidineimpregnated sponge or dressing.

How to avoid these at home?


Infections can attack a catheterized patient even when at home. To avoid infections at home, patients should follow good hygiene practices. This can be done with accessories like a waterproof catheter cover, disposable gloves and stock of disinfectants. If you are searching for quality waterproof catheter covers, Dialysis Care Online is your go to supplier. They offer a range of water barriers that are skin friendly and easy to use. Check out their online store today.


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