Incidence of catheter-related infections was studied using two techniques: changing catheters over a guide-wire or placing a new catheter at a new site every 3 days. Patients were randomized into two groups: Group 1 (new site) and Group 2 (guide-wire). Of the 105 catheterization sites (20 arterial and 85 central lines) in patients of Group 1, none were considered infected (i.e., having 15 or more colonies at the time of semi-quantitative microbiology analysis and clinical signs of infection at the catheter site). Of the 274 catheterization sites (56 arterial and 218 central) of patients of Group 2, eight (2.9%) were infected (χ2 = 1.89, p > 0.05). Colonization (15 or more cultures without clinical signs of infection) occurred in three of 105 (2.9%) and in four of 274 (1.5%) of the catetherization sites of Groups 1 and 2, respectively (χ2 = 0.23, p > 0.05). Study results indicate no significant difference in infection or colonization rates between the two methods of catheter replacement.
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