UMMC Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Information

For immediate release: October 14, 2011


Media Relations

[email protected] | 410-328-8919

Patient Safety is our Top Priority

Keeping our patients safe from infections is a top priority at the University of Maryland Medical Center. That includes preventing infections that can result when patients in intensive care must have catheters, known as central lines, inserted to receive lifesaving medications.

Our Progress

Our rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) at the Medical Center has dropped dramatically over the past 21 months due to a systematic approach of continual improvement by all our staff. During the months of April to June 2011, there were 11 infections, or 1.4 infections per 1,000 central-line days. This represents a decrease of 74% in actual cases and a 74% drop in infections per 1,000 central-line days. Details are available in this chart.

Continual Improvement

Our program involves mandatory training for every individual who cares for patients with central lines. Measures include:

  • Following a checklist of best practices for inserting catheters
  • Use of antibiotic-coated catheters
  • Washing skin with the most effective disinfectant prior to catheter insertion
  • Meticulous care of the catheter once it is in place
  • Removing catheters as soon as possible when they are no longer needed
  • Doctor and nurse champions in each unit to ensure that proper procedures are followed and staff are accountable
Graph of Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI)

Click on image for larger view


We believe it is important to openly report infection rate information publicly. We have been reporting this information since 2006 as part of the national Leapfrog survey. UMMC has been recognized as a Leapfrog Hospital of the Decade for patient safety and quality of care consistently since 2006 -- one of only two hospitals nationwide to be on the Leapfrog list every year.

Our Vigilance Remains High

We have one of the most challenging patient populations for infection in the nation with more trauma intensive care beds than any other hospital and 10 intensive care units receiving patients with complex illnesses from many other hospitals.  Despite these challenges, our goal is to eliminate central line infections at our hospital; few experts think that is realistic, but it is still our goal.