The Infusion Nurses Society (INS) recognizes that infection risk from peripheral IVs requires more attention in its 2021 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice. It introduced the term catheter associated bloodstream infection (CABSI) to describe any infection stemming from peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVCs) and/or central venous catheters (CVCs). This shift expands clinician awareness beyond central lines and CLABSI risk. It recognizes that all BSIs can cause serious harm to patients4 and can come from any catheter source.
About 200 million PIVs2 are inserted annually in the United States, compared to roughly 5 million central lines.3 Given the high volume of peripherals and even accounting for central lines’ longer dwell times, the number of BSIs linked to PIVs could approach or even surpass that of central lines.1
Donna Matocha, DNP, a Medline Manager of Clinical Resources-Critical Care and former ICU nurse says, “If you have a patient with both a central line and a PIV and that patient gets a BSI, who can say where it originated from? Bugs don’t choose one line over another. Infection occurs because there’s a break in the skin providing an opportunity for bugs to enter the body and proliferate.”
The INS CABSI terminology focuses everyone’s attention on “a risk that’s always been there,” says Matocha adding, “You have to reduce risk around all catheters, not just central lines. PIVs aren’t benign.”