Bloodstream infection study results released


Bloodstream infections (BSI) related to central catheter lines are known to occur routinely in patients admitted to intensive care units all over the world and are associated with high mortality and morbidity rates, extended ICU stays and increased health-care costs. Recent studies have shown that certain multifaceted interventions aimed at increasing compliance with known evidence-based measures can significantly reduce BSI.

BACTERIEMIA ZERO, a collaborative effort between WHO, the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equity and the Spanish Society of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine and Coronary Units (SEMICYUC), is a project aimed at decreasing or eliminating bloodstream infection related to central catheter lines in around 200 intensive care units throughout Spain. The project is a replication of the successful work that the team from Johns Hopkins led by Professor Pronovost carried out in hospitals in the State of Michigan, USA.

Consisting of a patient safety culture change bundle and the adoption of a number of technical practices, BACTERIEMIA ZERO led to a 50% reduction in the rates of infection. This demonstration study showed that interventions such as this one can be effective in different health-care systems despite varying levels of organizational structure and safety culture.

The full results of the study will be presented on 27 October 2011 in Madrid, during an event being hosted by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equity in which WHO Envoy for Patient Safety Sir Liam Donaldson will represent WHO Patient Safety.

For more information, please visit

Fuente: The WHO Patient Safety Team