Community Children’s NICU Achieves 3-Year “CLABSI-Free” Milestone of 0 Infections

Community Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), has reached a critical medical milestone. In the past 3-years the hospital’s NICU had zero cases of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI).

CLABSIs are primary bloodstream infections that are associated with the presence of a central vascular catheter, a tube that is placed into a patient’s large vein, usually in the neck, chest, arm or leg, to give fluids and medication, withdrawal blood and monitor the patient’s condition.

CLABSI can lead to mortality for infants, a population very susceptible to infections because of their immature immune system.

In order to reduce the risk of a CLABSI in our fragile NICU population, the NICU created a CLABSI reduction team and implemented many changes to protect our patients with a goal of zero over the course of a year. Due to processes put into place and ongoing training, we have sustained zero infections for 3-years. Our CLABSI reduction team included neonatologists, a NNP, NICU clinical coordinator, NICU RNs, representatives from Infection Control and Pharmacy. Full collaboration gave the best rate of success.

Community Children’s at Community Medical Center is a Level 3 NICU, nationally recognized for top-quality care. The NICU provides 24/7 coverage by board-certified neonatologists and NNPs and has a transport team that accompanies LifeFlight to attend high risk deliveries and to transfer premature or sick newborns to the NICU in Missoula.

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