Background The majority of preterm infants at NICUs receives a central venous, or umbilical vein catheter (UVC) and is therefore at risk for catheter associated sepsis. Silver-impregnated UVCs with the AgIONTM antimicrobial system may prevent sepsis and may have longer insertion time.
Objective To assess sepsis and additional CVC insertion with the use of silver-impregnated UVCs compared with conventional ones.
Methods Catheter-duration, sepsis and additional CVC use was compared between infants with silver-impregnated UVCs (silvergroup) during 1 year (2012–2013) and infants with conventional UVCs (controls) during 2011, when inserted >3 days.
Results In 156/249 (2012–2013) infants a silver-impregnated and all 273 with an UVC in 2011 a conventional UVC was inserted. Mean catheter-duration was 5.8 (3–15) days in the silvergroup vs 5.7 (3–12) days in the controls (NS). 11/156 (7%) infants from the silvergroup developed sepsis during catheterisation vs 17/267 (6.4%) controls [NS]. Main causative microorganisms: CoNS (62.5%), S. aureus (15.6%), Enterobacter (9.3%). In 22/156 infants of the silvergroup, UVC use was longer than 8 days, vs in 20/273 controls (NS). 3/22 of the silvergroup with UVC use > 8 days developed sepsis vs 1/273 controls (p = 0.015). Significant more infants in the silvergroup needed additional CVC insertion 18/156 (11.5%) vs in 28/273 (10.3%) controls (p = 0.00).
Conclusions Duration of > 8 days of silver-impregnated UVC significantly increased the risk for sepsis as compared with conventional UVC use.
Silver-impregnated UVCs were not inserted for longer periods than conventional UVCs.
Anti-infectious advantage of the silver-impregnated UVCs could not be proven.