Central venous catheters are often mandatory devices when caring for critically ill children. They are required to deliver medications, nutrition, and blood products, as well as for monitoring hemodynamic status and drawing laboratory samples. Any foreign object that is introduced to the body is at risk for infection. Central venous catheters carry a particularly high risk of infection and these infections can be life threatening. Advanced practice nurses possess the power to influence catheter-related line infections in their critical care units. Understanding current recommendations for catheter material selection, site selection, site preparation, and site care can affect rates of catheter-related bloodstream infections. This article discusses risk factors for developing catheter-related bloodstream infections in critically ill children, as well as measures to decrease incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections, including a review of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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