UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Catheter-related blood stream infections in hemodialysis patients: a prospective cohort study Thompson, Stephanie; Wiebe, Natasha; Klarenbach, Scott; Pelletier, Rick; Hemmelgarn, Brenda R.; Gill, John S.; Manns, Braden J.; Tonelli, Marcello


Background: For people requiring hemodialysis, infectious mortality is independently associated with geographic distance from a nephrologist. We aimed to determine if differential management of catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSIs) could explain poorer outcomes. Methods: We prospectively collected data from adults initiating hemodialysis with a central venous catheter between 2005 and 2015 in Alberta, Canada. We collected indicators of CRBSI management (timely catheter removal, relapsing bacteremia); frequency of CRBSIs; hospitalizations; predictors of CRBSIs, and bacteremia. We evaluated indicators and infectious episodes as a function of the shortest distance by road to the closest nephrologist’s practice: <50 (referent); 50–99; and ≥100 km. Results: One thousand one hundred thirty-one participants were followed for a median of 755 days (interquartile range (IQR) 219, 1465) and used dialysis catheters for a median of 565 days (IQR 176, 1288). Compared to the referent group, there was no significant difference in the rate ratio (RR) of CRBSI in the 50–100 and >100 km distance categories: RR 1.63; 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.91, 2.91); RR 0.84 (95% CI 0.44, 1.58); p = 0.87, respectively or in bacteremia: RR 1.42; (95% CI 0.83, 2.45); RR 0.79 (95% CI 0.45,1.39) p = 0.74, respectively. There were no differences in indicators of appropriate CRBSI management or hospitalizations according to distance. The overall incidence of CRBSIs was low (0.19 per 1000 catheter days) as was the frequency of relapse. Only liver disease was independently associated with CRBSI (RR 2.11; 95% CI 1.15, 3.86). Conclusions: The frequency and management of CRBSIs did not differ by location; however, event rates were low.

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