You go to the hospital to get well, so it may surprise you to learn you may contract serious illnesses, including central line-associated bloodstream infections, while hospitalized. Also known as CLASBIs, such infections may occur if germs access your bloodstream through a central line. They may cause fever, soreness, sickness and, in some cases, death.
Following these tips if you require a central line while hospitalized may help you avoid contracting a CLASBI.
Do speak up
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you have concerns about a central line during your hospitalization, you should voice them to your health care providers. You may ask if you absolutely need the central line and for how long you will have it. You should also tell a member of your treatment team right away if you experience symptoms of infection, such as fever, chills, or redness or soreness around the insertion site.
Do not get the site wet
As much as possible, you should avoid getting the central line wet, particularly the bandaging. If your bandaging gets wet or dirty, you should notify your health care providers. You should also inform them if your bandaging comes off.
Do ask visitors to wash hands
You and your visitors practicing proper hand hygiene may also help prevent CLASBIs. The CDC advises you to ask anyone who comes to see you wash their hands both before and after their visits. If you notice health care providers not washing their hands, you may ask them if they did so before entering your room.
Do not allow touching
You and your visitors should avoid touching your central line, including the catheter and the tubing. Even with proper hand hygiene, this may contribute to the spread of bacteria or viruses that may cause CLASBIs.
If you develop a CLASBI due to negligence or carelessness on the part of a member of your health care team, you may have grounds to pursue legal action. You may consider consulting with legal representation to learn more about your options for recovering compensatory damages.