Bloodstream infections can be deadly in dialysis patients. Three times per week, patients on hemodialysis have their blood accessed in order to undergo dialysis, either through a fistula or through a catheter. The latter are especially susceptible to infection. A team consisting of Patty Anderson RN, Nurse Administrator and Lori Gawat-Abuelo RN, Staff Nurse II has been awarded a microgrant for their proposal to reduce bloodstream infections.
The team will purchase a special type of cap for indwelling catheters that bathes the tip of the catheter in 70% alcohol, which prevents bacteria from growing. These caps, Curos Caps, are effective against Staph Aureus, Staph Epidermis, E-Coli, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Candida Glabrata, and Candida Albicans. The Forest Park Kidney Center currently has 31 patients who dialyze by catheter, and they will all receive these caps for 8 consecutive months in 2016. The rate of cather-related bloodstream infections will be calculated, and compared to the overall rate in 2015. The team hopes for a 50% reduction in bloodstream infections, which would translate into substantial medical cost savings from prevented admissions, as well as improved quality of life for the patients.