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Risk factors for catheter-related bloodstream infection in the intensive care unit


Catheter-related bloodstream infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in intensive care units (ICUs). The purpose of this study is to assess the risk factors associated with these infections.


Thirty-one patients admitted to an ICU of our hospital were enrolled for a retrospective study. In these patients, a total of 64 central venous catheters were inserted. Data was collected and submitted to a univariate analysis.


The mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score and age were 19 and 49 years, respectively. Sixteen patients were imunosuppressed, 24 patients were under mechanical ventilation and 10 patients died during the ICU stay. The mean duration of catheter permanence was 9 ± 4 days. Among the catheters, eight were dual-lumen hemodialysis catheters, 12 were Swan–Ganz catheters and 44 were dual-lumen catheters. The sites of insertion were 37 in the internal jugular vein, 22 in the subclavian vein and five in the femoral vein. Fourteen dual-lumen catheters were the source of bloodstream infection. The majority of these infections involved Gram-positive aerobic organisms.


In this study, some classical risk factors for catheter-related bloodstream infection were not found, but some new risk factors were identified. The technique of insertion and the care at the site of catheter insertion must be further assessed, seeking for the main risk factors for catheter-related bloodstream infection.

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Branquinho, P., Park, M., Costa, S. et al. Risk factors for catheter-related bloodstream infection in the intensive care unit. Crit Care 7, P66 (2003).

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  • Catheter
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Central Venous Catheter
  • Femoral Vein
  • Internal Jugular Vein