A central line, or central venous catheter (CVC), is a tube placed into a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin that is used to administer medication or fluids, obtain blood tests, and obtain cardiovascular measurements. CVCs are often used for chronically ill patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Proper monitoring and timely removal is necessary to prevent complications due to infection. At SBUH, our ICU teams work around-the-clock to prevent harmful central line infection risks that can impact patient safety.
Our ICU team reviews each patient’s medical status on a daily basis to determine if there is continued need for a CVC. Trained to follow best practice patient safety measures outlined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), our ICU team members know that a CVC should be removed as soon as possible. Our ICU nurses and medical staff must wear full body protection, use proper sterilization techniques, and follow a detailed checklist of safety measures, for inserting CVCs. By monitoring central line compliance and continuously discussing ways to improve outcomes in our ICU, we ensure that patient safety remains central in our focus.