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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: March 15, 2012


Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Public Health issued data for hospital central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) for Delaware for the fourth quarter of 2011. Collectively, Delaware's eight critical care hospitals reported four infections between October and December of 2011. None of the hospitals had an infection rate statistically different from the national rate published by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network.

A central line (also known as a central venous catheter) is a catheter (tube) that doctors often place in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests.These lines can prompt bloodstream infections which are usually serious infections typically causing a prolonged hospital stay, increased cost and risk of death. Bloodstream infections in patients with central lines are largely preventable when healthcare providers use CDC-recommended infection control steps. In 2001, 43,000 bloodstream infections were reported nationally. Since then and with the utilization of infection control practices, the number of infections in 2009 has dropped to nearly 18,000, a reduction of 58 percent. This represents up to 6,000 lives saved and $414 million in potential excess health-care costs.

The Delaware quarterly report can be found at:

For a full description of the background and methodology for this report, please refer to Delaware Hospital Infection Reporting Data: 2010, at:

For more information on CLABSI, please visit:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.