NICE recommends technology to reduce catheter infections

3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing recommended for critically-ill patients who need central venous or arterial catheters

The 3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of a device to hold catheters in place securely, which reduces the risk of catheter -elated infections and could save the NHS up to £10m a year.

The medical technology guidance advises using the 3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing for critically-ill patients who need a central venous or arterial catheter in intensive care or high-dependency units.

Catheters are thin tubes put into the body that can be used to deliver liquids such as antibiotics or other drugs, so avoiding the need for frequent needle injections.

Tegaderm CHG dressing is a sterile transparent semipermeable polyurethane adhesive dressing with an integrated gel pad containing the antibacterial agent chlorhexidine gluconate, which is a widely-used antiseptic and disinfectant.

The evidence considered showed that the Tegaderm CHG dressing offers better protection against catheter-related bloodstream infection than sterile semipermeable transparent dressings.

If using the Tegaderm CHG dressing becomes standard practice, the reduction in infections has the potential to save the NHS in England an estimated £4m to £10m each year.

The guidance notes that this transparent technology enables the catheter insertion site to be seen clearly, and also provides antiseptic coverage

Professor Carole Longson MBE, director of the NICE centre for health technology evaluation, said: “Catheters are commonly used in providing treatment or monitoring, so it’s important that they can be held in place securely while minimising infection risk to the patient.

“This guidance, developed by the independent Medical Technologies Advisory Committee, proposes recommending the use of 3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressings for catheters inserted into central veins and arteries. The guidance notes that this transparent technology enables the catheter insertion site to be seen clearly, and also provides antiseptic coverage.

“Bloodstream infections linked to central venous catheters increase patient illness, and increase costs for intensive care units. For hospitals and units that have a moderate rate of baseline catheter-related bloodstream infection, this technology could save an estimated £73 per patient instead of using a standard transparent semipermeable dressing. This saving is not possible if hospitals and units already have very low rates of infection. So hospitals should consider their infection rates to help them decide if investing in the dressing is right for them.

“The use of 3M Tegaderm CHG could have a significant impact on catheter-related infections if its use becomes standard practice in hospitals that are not able to achieve very low infection rates by other means.”

Click here for the medical technology guidance.