Philip A. Pizzo, M.D.

Publication Details

  • PERSPECTIVE ON THE MANAGEMENT OF CATHETER-RELATED INFECTIONS IN CANCER-PATIENTS PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASE JOURNAL Hiemenz, J., Skelton, J., Pizzo, P. A. 1986; 5 (1): 6-11

    Abstract:

    The risk of infectious complications ranges from 9 to 80% depending on patient population and definition of catheter-related infection. In the vast majority of these patients, those infections can be treated successfully without catheter removal. The major exceptions to this guideline are patients with significant exit site or tunnel infections or with fungal isolates. Because the majority of those infections are caused by Gram-positive organisms such as S. epidermidis or S. aureus that have variable sensitivities to the antistaphylococcal penicillins, intravenous vancomycin along with gentamicin should be administered empirically until culture results are available. It appears to be unnecessary to remove the Silastic catheter automatically just because the patient is febrile, particularly if there is no microbiological evidence that the catheter is the source of the fever. Quantitative blood cultures drawn through the catheter and from a peripheral vein may lead to a better understanding of the role the catheter plays in the septic episodes in these patients but has yet to be definitive in identifying patients who absolutely require catheter removal to cure their infection. Surveillance cultures have not proved helpful in defining an "at risk" group for catheter-related infection and, due to cost and possible added risk of inducing an infectious complication, should not be routinely performed outside of an investigational setting. Instruction of patients in proper catheter care both before and after placement is of critical importance. To date there is no proved standard of catheter care and maintenance. There is a need for careful investigation in this area. We recommend that routine handling of the catheter be done with aseptic technique, which usually requires use of Betadine swabs when manipulating the catheter tip and use of a sterile dressing (e.g. E. Med IV Strip) or Op-Site (a transparent occlusive dressing) at the exit site. Continued dressings with either daily, every other day or biweekly changes may protect the catheter from gross contamination but do not protect it from catheter-associated infections. Controlled studies are needed to compare the numerous methods of postplacement catheter management and to determine the rate of infectious complications with the recently available double and triple lumen Silastic catheters and the subcutaneous implantable port-type catheters. We are presently pursuing such an investigation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1986AXQ8200002

    View details for PubMedID 3945579

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