ARROWg+ard technology effective in preventing infections in an infection-prone insertion site

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Teleflex has announced newly published research which reaffirms the ability of catheters protected with ARROWg+ard technology to reduce both bloodstream infections and direct costs associated with treating those infections. The peer‰Ûreviewed paper appears in the October 2014 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

The ARROW central venous catheter with ARROWg+ard technology outperformed the unprotected central venous catheter in both infection reduction and total cost per patient. Within the study, the protected catheter achieved a zero infection rate per 1,000 catheter days. In contrast, the unprotected device was associated with a much higher catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) rate of 8.61/1,000 catheter days (7.4% of cases). The results were statistically significant. Additionally, the antimicrobial protected catheter was also associated with prolonged CRBSI-free time compared to the unprotected catheter, including dwell times of up to 25 days without a bloodstream infection.

The study focused only on central venous catheters inserted into the femoral area. The researchers compared infection rates and cost-effectiveness of an unprotected central venous catheter versus a catheter protected with ARROWg+ard technology inserted into this infection-prone region. The research goal was to determine if the chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine central venous catheter could reduce bloodstream infection rates and reduce the cost of diagnosing and treating an infection.

The authors undertook the study because previous cost-effectiveness analyses of antimicrobial catheters included the cost of extended hospital stays. This cost varies widely from institution to institution and country to country, limiting the applicability of the results. For the current study, the authors included only the costs of central venous catheters, infection diagnosis and antimicrobials used to treat patients who developed infections. These direct expenses, they believed, provide a clearer picture of the ultimate cost-effectiveness of the protected, antimicrobial catheter, given its somewhat higher initial cost.

The ARROW central venous catheter with ARROWg+ard technology had sharply lower central venous catheter-related costs than those associated with the unprotected catheter. Notably, the cost of an ARROW central venous catheter with ARROWg+ard technology was 15 times less expensive than an unprotected catheter. The cost per catheter day of the protected catheter was €2.92 ± €1.77 vs. the cost of an unprotected catheter at €18.22 ± €53.13.

The study involved patients admitted to the ICU of the Hospital Universitario de Canarias (Tenerife, Spain) who received one or more femoral venous catheters. It examined a total of 254 catheters and 2,195 catheter days. Each patient’s physician made the decision about whether to use a protected or unprotected catheter and whether to insert the catheter in the femoral vein.

The study was a retrospective analysis performed and published by Leonardo Lorente and colleagues independent of Teleflex. Lorente works in the Department of Critical Care at Hospital Universitario de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain.

“We report that the antimicrobial catheter eliminated infections even though it was used in the femoral access site, which is typically associated with higher infection rates,” said Lorente. “This suggests the device might be similarly effective when used in other sites with high infection risk or with vulnerable patient populations such as immunocompromised patients.”

Lorente said the results could be helpful to other institutions, adding, “These findings may interest hospitals who are evaluating antimicrobial catheters to reduce their bloodstream infection rates. The fact that the antimicrobial catheter was shown to be cost-effective should also reassure those institutions about the economics of antimicrobial central venous catheters.”

“This study underscores the fact that hospitals can benefit by looking beyond up-front costs to total treatment costs when selecting a central venous catheter,” said Jay White, president of the Teleflex vascular access division. “In the study, the total costs of using an unprotected catheter were extremely high because of the infections and related treatment costs. In contrast, the ARROWg+ard technology improved both outcomes and cost-effectiveness. This study demonstrates that Teleflex can help hospitals protect their patients and their bottom line.”