The problem of central line-associated bloodstream infections in California

Germs entering into catheters can result in central line-associated bloodstream infections, which may lead to further medical complications.

People in California regularly require medical care for a variety of reasons. This can include treating emergency ailments, monitoring ongoing conditions and conducting routine check ups. When they go in to receive such treatment, however, few people expect to develop worsened conditions as the result of medical malpractice or doctor errors.

Throughout medical treatment facilities, central line-associated bloodstream infections are a common issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of deaths are the result of central line-associated bloodstream infections each year. Often, patients develop these infections in addition to the conditions they had sought treatment for.

What are CLASBIs?

In some cases, people may require the placement of central venous catheters, or central lines. Generally, these catheters are inserted into large veins in the chest, groin or neck. Central lines are typically used to collect blood, or to administer fluids or medication.

CLASBIs are serious infections that can be developed when viruses or bacteria enter into the bloodstream through central lines. As a result of these infections, the area around the catheter's insertion point may become red and sore, according to the California Department of Public Health. Additionally, patients may become very ill and experience chills and fevers. CLASBIs may be considerably more dangerous for those who are already suffering from serious medical conditions.

How can CLASBIs be prevented?

In general, CLASBIs are considered to be completely preventable. This is because they typically result from substandard care. There are a number of things that health care providers can do to prevent patients from developing CLASBIs, including the following:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching central lines
  • Do not insert central lines until the skin prep agent has dried completely
  • Use sterile barrier precautions
  • Remove central lines as soon as they are no longer needed
  • Keep central lines and insertion sites dry

By following these precautions, and other recommended maintenance practices for central lines, health care professionals can help ensure the safety of their patients.

There are also steps that patients themselves can take to help avoid contracting CLASBIs. One of the most important things that patients can do is to pay attention to their bandage and the surrounding area, according to the CDC. If it becomes dirty or wet, they should notify their medical provider so that it can be changed. Furthermore, patients should immediately tell their health care professional if they develop chills or a fever, or if the area around the catheter becomes red or sore. Avoiding touching central lines, and not allowing visitors to touch central lines, can also be an important precaution for patients to avoid CLASBIs.

Consulting with an attorney

When patients in California develop CLASBIs, it can lead to significantly worsened medical conditions. This may result in extended recovery times, as well as undue expenses. People who have experienced situations such as this may find it of benefit to seek legal counsel and representation. An attorney may help them to understand their rights, as well as their options for seeking compensation.

Keywords: medical, malpractice, infection