For Immediate Release: June 13, 2016
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Contact: Tamara Moore / / 202-868-4008
Author contact: Kate Benson /

Central Line Infection Prevention Bundles Reduce Number of Deadly Infections in Newborns

New research shows interventions to be effective in reducing CVC use, dwell time, and blood stream infections

NEW YORK (June 13, 2016) – Infection prevention bundles, a package of evidence-based guidelines implemented in unison, are effective for reducing central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) in critical care newborn infants, according to a new study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. The bundle helped reduce the number of lines placed, the duration of time used and the number of infections.

“Infections can impact both short and long term outcomes of fragile newborns, so reducing healthcare-associated infections is a priority,” said Rowena McMullan, FRACP, lead author of the study. “The results from this research prove that using evidence-based practices including central line infection prevention bundles can make a difference in the safety and wellbeing of newborn infants.”

The retrospective cohort analysis compared data on infants cared for in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during a baseline period, as well as after the intervention was implemented. The bundle of interventions included a structured education program that used interactive problem-focused learning during three workshop sessions for all new and current staff at the hospital, as well as specified policies for preparing to handle lines, and techniques for inserting and maintaining lines.

The researchers found that CLABSI rates from central line use dropped during the intervention period compared to the baseline period (3 infections vs. 20 infections). Additionally, they found significantly fewer central lines inserted during this time, compared to the baseline period (260 vs. 353), as well as shorter duration for central lines (4.4 days vs. 5.0 days).

The researchers have noted that the effects of the intervention have gone beyond the intervention period to create a culture of safety in the NICU. “The staff who take care of our patients are the most important resource that we have,” said McMullan. “Their ongoing education creates involvement in, ownership of and advocacy for the bundle. We believe this initiated the success of the intervention, but also helped disseminate the changes to other staff and to parents, shifting the whole culture of the unit.” 

The researchers hope that other hospitals will use the results from this research to support implementation of evidence-based guidelines to prevent CLABSIs in NICUs to help save even more infants from life-threatening infections.


Rowena McMullan, Adrienne Gordon. “Impact of a Central Line Infection Prevention Bundle in Newborn Infants.” Web (June 13, 2016).

About ICHE
Published through a partnership between the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Cambridge University Press, Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. ICHE is ranked 13th out of 158 journals in its discipline in the latest Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters.

SHEA is a professional society representing physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world with expertise and passion in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. SHEA’s mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections, improve the use of antibiotics in healthcare settings, and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA improves patient care and healthcare worker safety in all healthcare settings through the critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology and improved antibiotic use. The society leads this specialty by promoting science and research, advocating for effective policies, providing high-quality education and training, and developing appropriate guidelines and guidance in practice. Visit SHEA online at, and @SHEA_Epi

About Cambridge Journals
Cambridge University Press publishes over 350 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide spread of subject areas, in print and online. Many of these journals are leading academic publications in their fields and together form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today.

For further information about Cambridge Journals, visit

About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 350 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.

Playing a leading role in today’s international market place, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.

For further information about Cambridge University Press, visit