No matter which venous access device (VAD) is used, the two complications that limit their use are thrombosis and infection. Catheter infections result in a prolonged in-hospital stay and increased morbidity and mortality. This article will review some facts relating to epidemiology, microbiology, mechanisms, and causes of catheter infection. We will then discuss some aspects of catheter infections with emphasis on areas in which physicians, nurses, and technologists should apply their knowledge and expertise to prevent infectious complications and thereby prolong the useful life of a VAD.
- Venous access