Study finds over 75% of PICC line and central line infections come from the ICU

Hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in ICU patients was mainly caused by Gram-negative bacteria … (and) was associated with 37.1% mortality, and by day-28 only 16.1% of the patients had been discharged alive from the hospital” … Alexis Tabah, MD, Brisbane, Australia,

Greg Vigna, MD, JD, national pharmaceutical injury attorney, “Data across the world is consistent that hospital-acquired bloodstream infections are the healthcare-associated infections that cause the most disability. Most of these are multi-drug resistant infections occurring in patients in ICUs.”

What did the study that included 2,600 patients from 333 ICUs in 52 countries report from Intensive Care Med (2023) 49: 178-190?

“Median time from hospital admission to the hospital-acquired bloodstream infection was 13 days.”

“Most hospital-acquired bloodstream infections (78.8%) were ICU-acquired.”

“Sources of infection were predominantly respiratory (pneumonia) 26.7% and intravascular catheters (26.4%)”

“64.2% and 31.7% met the criteria for sepsis and septic shock.”

To see the study:

What is sepsis? Multiple organ damage from inflammation due to infection that may result in organ damage to the brain, kidney, heart, liver, and lung.

What is septic shock? A life-threatening condition that causes dangerously low blood pressure because of infection that may result in amputations of fingers and toes, brain damage, kidney failure, ventilator dependence, oxygen dependence, and nerve damage.

“Data across the world is consistent that hospital-acquired bloodstream infections are the healthcare-associated infections that cause the most disability.” — Greg Vigna, MD, JD

Dr. Vigna continues, “Twenty-five percent of all hospital-acquired bloodstream infections are caused by intravascular catheters that include PICC lines, midlines, and other central lines. Hospital-acquired bloodstream infections caused death in 37% of patients in this large study. That is because hospital-acquired bacteria tend to be resistant to many antibiotics and are more virulent. In other words, they are hard to get rid of and cause severe illness when they infect a patient.”

Dr. Vigna concludes, “We are investigating ICU-related sepsis caused by PICC lines, midlines, and other central lines as there are safer designs of the tubing that goes into the vein that prevents bacterial adhesion, which substantially decreases the risk of infection. There is no justification for the continued use of the old, obsolete polyurethane PICC lines, midlines, or central lines at this time given there is safer technology that reduces the risk of infection of the venous central line.”

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Dr. Vigna is a California and Washington DC lawyer who represents those with serious injuries caused by defective medical devices including PICC lines and Med-Ports that lead to sepsis. He represents the injured with the Ben Martin Law Group, a national pharmaceutical injury law firm in Dallas, Texas. The attorneys are product liability and medical malpractice attorneys, and they represent the most injured across the country.

Greg Vigna, MD, JD
Vigna Law Group
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