Improved central line management, facilitated by audit, potentially reduces line sepsis

George Ramsay, Alan Dawson, Wendy Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Prolonged use of a Central Venous Line (CVL) carries increased infection risk. However, rigorous monitoring of the length of time lines are in situ and documenting the reasons for continued use are not frequently performed. This audit describes a simple intervention and the subsequent improvement in clinical practice.

Method: Two 3-week audit cycles were completed, surveying all patients having CVL placement within a two week period, allowing one week for follow-up. Demographic data, CVL indication, duration and complications were collated. Following one cycle, proformas were placed routinely on patients' observations charts, prompting daily review of CVL indication and complications by medical staff. The cycle was then repeated.

Results: Between cycles 1 and 2, 17 and 19 lines were placed: groups were similar in baseline demographics, operative contamination, emergency/elective status, and CVL indications. Regular re-appraisal of CVL indication/complications increased in both nursing p=0.037, and medical notes p<0.001 between cycles. Line sepsis reduced after the intervention (n=3 cycle 1, n=0 cycle 2) p=0.095. Median duration of each CVL was 4.5 and 4.0 days respectively.

Conclusion: This intervention has increased awareness of staff, significantly improving documentation, with a concordant reduction in line related sepsis over the study period.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0484
Pages (from-to)539
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Issue number7
Early online date3 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event2011 Meeting of the Association of Surgeons in Training - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Apr 201117 Apr 2011


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