NICU celebrates 52 weeks infection free

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NICU recently celebrated another milestone. No, not a new space or a research project, this milestone is celebrating something that hasn’t happened. NICU is now one year CLABSI-free.

Central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) have been monitored in the IWK’s NICU for decades and the unit has now gone more than 52 weeks without a health care associated CLABSI – breaking their previous record by 12 weeks.

Considering the volume of central line use in NICU, 500 ‘line days’ per quarter, achieving this record was more than a lucky break or the work of a couple individuals.

“This is a huge success for the NICU, especially considering the high risk population they serve, and the fact that they still managed to keep patient safety at the forefront even during the transition to their new unit, NICU North,” says Bridget Maxwell, infection control practitioner. “The NICU team worked very hard over the last several years to implement best practice changes, including the introduction of the Solutions for Patient Safety CLABSI Bundle, which ensures all staff are following the recommendations.”

Central line infections have the potential to be very detrimental to patients in NICU, who are already vulnerable and often have many other health challenges. This effort to reduce CLABSI not only demonstrates excellent adherence to safety standards by staff, but it’s keeping patients safe, reducing the use of antibiotics and potentially shortening length of stay. And that’s worth celebrating!

“Infection Prevention and Control, and the entire IWK Patient Safety Team, are so proud of all of your hard work and dedication to keeping patients safe,” says Maxwell.