In the March edition of Consumer Reports, two Central New York hospitals will share the spotlight for having no central line bloodstream infections. A central line is a large diameter tube or catheter, usually inserted into a vein in the neck, chest or groin. Once in place, a central line can be used to deliver intravenous drugs and nutrition to patients. Without proper placement and maintenance, central lines are prone to infections. Central line bloodstream infections can lead to sepsis and death. As many at 15% of all hospital infections concern a central line.
Consumer Reports surveyed more than 100 hospitals nationwide. Of the hospitals surveyed, there were no reports of central line infections at Community General Hospital in Syracuse, New York. Likewise, there were no reports of central line infections at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York.
In order to avoid hospital infections, both Community General Hospital and Cayuga Medical Center have developed protocols to decrease the possibility of contamination by, e.g., instructing staff to wear gowns, gloves and masks, draping the patient, and limiting the number of times that the central line is handled. Further, both hospitals attempt to limit how long a central line is in place because the longer a line is in place, the greater the risk for infection.
In addition to hospitals without infections, the report also highlighted New York hospitals with higher-than-average infection rates. One Syracuse hospital with a higher-than-average surgery infection rate was Upstate University Hospital. Crouse Hospital was noted to have below average colon-surgery site infections.