Pandemic and Pediatric CLABSI Rates

Reviewed by: Zach Willis, MD, MPH, UNC School of Medicine

Compared to a baseline in 2015, pediatric units reporting to the National Healthcare Surveillance Network (NHSN) demonstrated a 32% reduction in CLABSI incidence in 2020, with a pooled standardized infection ratio (SIR) of 0.668. Since that nadir, CLABSI rates have increased steadily, with a pooled SIR of 0.808 in 2022. Had participating pediatric units simply maintained the performance level of 2019 and 2020, approximately 264 CLABSIs would have been avoided in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with backsliding in CLABSI rates following quite an impressive decline in the late 2010s. The reasons are uncertain and likely multifactorial; the authors identify shortages of staffing and supplies as likely contributors.

Christopher Prestel, Lucy Fike, Prachi Patel, Margaret Dudeck, Jonathan Edwards, Ronda Sinkowitz-Cochran, David Kuhar, A Review of Pediatric Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections Reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network: United States, 2016–2022, Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Volume 12, Issue 9, September 2023, Pages 519–521,

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