Impact of Early Dressing Removal on Tunneled Central Venous Catheters: A Piloting Study

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

King Hussein Cancer Center, Jordan.

Abstract

Background: Central Venous Catheters (CVC) are linked with Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
or exit-site infections. Dressings may reduce the rate of infection, but they are uncomfortable, do not eliminate the
risk of infection, and in some cases become the cause of infection. Aim: This study evaluates the impact of early
CVC dressing removal on CLABSI, exit-site infections, and patient quality of life in an oncology setting. Method: A
quasi-experimental pilot study was conducted over 15 months at a specialized oncology center. Sixteen patients were
divided into control (n=8) and experimental (n=8) groups. The control group received the standard protocol of applying
CVC dressings, while the experimental group received a “no-dressing” protocol. Results: There was no statistical
significance in the infection rate between the two groups (p=1.0). Two cases developed CLABSIs, one in each group.
One patient from the experimental group developed an exit-site infection as well. Patients in the experimental group
reported high satisfaction and an improved quality of life. Conclusions: Applying a no-dressing protocol to a wellhealed
exit site CVC showed encouraging results in terms of exit-site and bloodstream infections. That is to say; it
did not predispose patients to increased risk of infections. Furthermore, patients with no dressing protocol feel more
comfortable in their life.

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