CVCs placed in the ED

Central lines in the ED are more likely to get infected because they’re inserted under less scrupulously aseptic conditions than in ICU, done more urgently, and are more likely to be placed in the mucky old femoral site by clumsy emergency physicians who don’t wash their hands after scratching their arses. Anyway, the intensivists will usually replace them with a ‘more ideal’ line after ICU admission. Right? Well, that’s what’s often taught and assumed to be the case, but a new study from a single centre suggests otherwise. ED-placed central venous catheters (19% of which were femoral) were typically left in for 4 to 5 days. The infection rate was 1.9 per 1,000 catheter-days, similar to that reported for central lines in other ICU case series.
Infection and Natural History of Emergency Department–Placed Central Venous Catheters
Annals of Emergency Medicine 2010;56(5):492-7

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