Sunday, October 02, 2005


Sunday October 2, 2005
Central catheters, ointment and care

As against common belief, application of ointment at catheter insertion site does not decrease the infection rate. Actually application of antibiotic ointments (e.g., bacitracin) to catheter-insertion sites increases the rate of catheter colonization by fungi and promotes the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Also, after insertion of central venous catheter - simple dressing with gauze and tape is enough (change on average 24-48 hours). Occlusive dressings may increase colonizations at site. Water impermeable dressings like Tegaderm or Duoderm may infact increase chances of catheter related septicemia.

Recommended Readings:
1. Preventing Complications of Central Venous Catheterization, David C. McGee, M.D.,, NEJM, March 03, Volume 348:1123-1133.
2. Marshall DA and coll. Occlusive dressings, Arch Surg 1990;125:1136-1139.
3. Hoffman and coll. Meta-analysis on dressings, JAMA 1992; 267:2072-2076.