Introduction Peripheral intravenous catheters are used with increasing frequency in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to administer intravenous fluids, blood products, drugs and nutritions. Catheter infection is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and duration of hospital stay. We aimed to determine colonization rate of intravascular (IV) catheters and catheter related blood stream infection in the NICU of Namazee Hospital.
Methods 130 infants from which IV catheters were removed were included. The end 3 cm of the catheter tips were cut aseptically and put in thioglycolate media. In cases of growth within the next 7 days, this was subcultured on blood agar and MC agar media and the type of bacteria were identified. Sensitivity tests of cultured bacteria were done according to standard methods. Before catheter removal, from each infant blood samples were taken for culture and microbiological procedures for identification, and antibiograms were done.
Results Of 130 cultured catheter tips, 48 (37%) were revealed to have colonization, of which 28 cases (58%) were identified as coagulase negative Staphylococci (CNS). 12 patients (9%), all from the colonized catheter group, had positive blood culture (8 CNS and 4 coagulase pos. Staphylococci). Among the CNS isolated from catheters, the most resistance (100%) was related to ampicillin and oxicillin and the least (23%) resistance to vancomycine.
Conclusion Use of intravascular catheters in neonates should be balanced between the need for vascular access and the risk of bacterial infection, and in cases of use, adequate control and preventive measures must be rigorously undertaken.