Milestone for hospital ICU team
Milestone for hospital ICU team

Clinicians at Hawkes Bay Hospitals Intensive Care Unit ICU are among the first in the country to have eliminated hospitalacquired intensive care bloodstream infections in their patients for a year

Intensive Care specialist Ross Freebairn said a year without a patient having a bloodstream infection associated with a catheter in a large vein was a significant milestone

Patients who were admitted to ICU were extremely sick and many critically Dr Freebairn said

More than half the patients in our ICU will need a central vein catheter he said

Getting a bloodstream infection from a central vein catheter known as central line associated bacteriaemia not only increases hospital length of stay and costs up to 50000 per patient but also carries an additional significant mortality

Avoiding complications such as serious infections improved patient care and health quality while at the same time reduced costs

A motivated and clinically focused team can deliver real health benefits to our sickest patients Dr Freebairn said

This cannot be achieved without a combination of both highquality dedicated nursing staff and specialised medical expertise We need to improve efficiency without compromising patient care Preventing unnecessary infections is one way to do both

Dr Freebairn said antibiotic resistance was also a significant clinical risk and cost to Intensive Care services

We need to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use by preventing infections he said

Excessive antibiotic use will not only increase pharmacy costs but will also fuel future antibiotic resistance This is something we simply cannot afford

Dr Michael Park and associate clinical nurse manager Anne Stuart lead Hawkes Bay ICU as part of the national ICU plan to prevent central line associated bacteriaemia

The project was supported by the Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand and is one of the first projects to improve work between all New Zealand intensive care units

Date : 11 May, 2012
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