Arterial catheters are potential sources of nosocomial infection.
To investigate use of a closed blood conservation device in preventing catheter-related bloodstream infections in children after cardiac surgery.
Children with an indwelling arterial catheter after cardiac surgery were randomly assigned to 2 groups: a control group with a conventional 3-way stopcock in the catheter system and an interventional group with the conservation device in the catheter system. Catheter tips, catheter intraluminal fluid, and blood samples obtained from the catheter and peripherally were cultured for microbiological analysis. RESULTS Intraluminal fluid contamination was significantly lower (P = .03) in the interventional group (3 of 147 catheters) than in the control group (10 of 137 catheters). The 2 groups did not differ significantly in the rate of tip colonization (9 of 147 vs 12 of 137; P = .40) or in the number of catheter-related bloodstream infections (0 of 147 vs 2 of 137; P = .21).
Use of a closed blood conservation device could decrease the incidence of catheter-related contamination of intraluminal fluid.