News & Commentary

Ports Might Help Reduce Infection


The costs of care for children battling cancer who get central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are growing fast, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Such infections can add about 21 days to a hospital stay and $70,000 in cost. Researchers examined about 1,560 inpatient admissions for 291 children with cancer between January 2008 and May 2011. They divided the children into two groups: those with CLABSI and those without.

They note that “Very little has been written about the attributable cost of CLABSIs in pediatric patients with malignancies commonly seen in a hematology/oncology practice” and hope that the study’s findings “may inform decisions regarding the value of investing in efforts to prevent CLABSIs in this vulnerable population.”

The study states that patients who have a port installed stand a better chance of avoiding infection.

“Patients receiving short-term therapy with a need for frequent central access will likely use [tunneled catheters], which are technically easier to place and do not require an additional trip to the operating room for removal,” the study states. “Those patients anticipated to require long-term therapy and/or infrequent need for central access will likely receive a port-type device because of decreased infection risk over time.”

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