Catheter related bloodstream infection

A central venous catheter is a risk factor for infection and the risk increases every time the closed blood system is broken. Insertion should take place under sterile conditions and, if possible, in an operating room.

Catheter related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) occurs when bacteria or other microbes enter the blood stream. The surfaces of catheters attract bacteria and other microbes, which colonize it and may develop biofilm.

Where do the microbes come from?

The bacteria might come from the patient herself, for example, a local site infection is usually caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus or coagulase-negative Staphylococci, which both occur on the skin and can be introduced during insertion, injection or infusion.

The bacteria can also come from external sources such as personnel or medical devices and accompany the catheter at insertion or be introduced via the blood to the catheter. Sometimes the infection spreads to the bloodstream and lead to systemic infection.

Bacteria forming biofilm are much more resistant to the patient’s immune system and antibiotics.

Common symptoms of infection

  • Local infection: redness, swelling and / or sore skin around the insert. Warming or fluid formation from the insertion channel.
  • Systemic infection: fever and/or chills.

Important to prevent CRBSI

It is important to prevent CRBSI since it leads to prolonged hospital stays, increased mortality, costs and use of antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization, treatment for one individual case can cost up to USD 56,0001-2  and the mortality rate is estimated to be 12–25%3.

The unique Bactiguard technology reduces microbial adhesion on the catheter surface

The Bactiguard’s technology (Bactiguard Infection Protection) is based on a very thin noble metal alloy coating, firmly attached to the catheter surface. When in contact with fluids (blood) the noble metals create a galvanic effect, which reduces microbial adhesion. This means that less bacteria adhere to the catheter surface, which reduces the risk of biofilm formation leading to infection.

Read more about Bactiguard’s infection prevention central venous catheter BIP CVC >>>


1. Dimick JB et al. Increased resource use associated with catheter-related bloodstream infection in the surgical intensive care unit. Arch Surg 2001;136:229–34.
2. Rello J, Ochagavia A, Sabanes E, et al. Evaluation of outcome of intravenous catheterrelated infections in critically ill patients. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;162:1027–30.
3. Kluger DM, Maki DG. The relative risk of intravascular device related bloodstream infections in adults [Abstract]. In: Abstracts of the 39th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. San Francisco, CA: American Society for Microbiology, 1999:514.