Ethanol locks may help prevent CABSIs in pediatric cancer patients, study finds

Ethanol locks have the ability to prevent central venous catheter-associated bloodstream infections in pediatric cancer patients, according to the results of a randomized trial published in the European Journal of Cancer.

The researchers conducted a double-blind, multi-center trial in pediatric oncology that included more than 300 patients with newly inserted CVCs. Patients were then randomly assigned to receive either two-hour 70 percent ethanol locks or heparin locks.

Some patients discontinued the study prematurely or withdrew their informed consent. Among the patients who continued the study, the researchers observed the following:

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1. Patients in the ethanol arm of the study experienced a CABSI rate of 10 percent, whereas those in the heparin arm experienced a CABSI rate of 19 percent. Further, patients in the ethanol arm experienced fewer CABSIs per 1,000 catheter days.

2. No patients died from CABSI, and those in the ethanol arm experienced a greater reduction of gram-positive CABSIs and fewer CVC removals due to CABSIs than those in the heparin arm.

3. No suspected and unexpected serious adverse reactions occurred, although more patients in the ethanol arm than heparin arm reported nausea, taste alteration, dizziness and blushing.



More articles on bloodstream infections:
10 things for CFOs to know about CLABSIs
Leapfrog tracks progress in pressure ulcers, injuries, CAUTIs & CLABSIs: 7 takeaways
AHRQ study identifies 4 key practices in CLABSI prevention interventions

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