Central Line Infections

Frequently Asked Questions

Information for Patients and Families

Patient safety remains the most important priority for Cornwall Community Hospital and this involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting healthcare-associated infections.

We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program. As of April 30, 2009, all Ontario hospitals are required to post quarterly CLI-BSI rates to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system.

If you have any questions about the information below or about our hospital's infection prevention and control program, please contact Nancy Ann Bush at 613-938-4240 ext:3344.

What are health care-associated infections?

Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called health care-associated infections.

What is a Central-Line Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLI-BSI)?

When a patient requires long-term access to medication or fluids through an IV, a central line is put in place. A central line blood stream infection can occur when bacteria and/or fungi enters the blood stream, causing a patient to become sick. The bacteria can come from a variety of places (e.g., skin, wounds, environment, etc.), though it most often comes from the patient's skin.

Hospitals follow best practices on how to prevent bacteria from entering into a central line. Patients in the ICU often require a central line since they are seriously ill, and will require a lot of medication, for a long period of time.

What is Cornwall Community Hospital doing to improve patient safety?

The Prevention of Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection Team was formed in February 2008 and has been active in the implementation of new stringent protocols when inserting and maintaining central venous catheters.

What can patients do to help reduce their chances of infection?

Patients should always follow instructions given to them by your health care team. Frequent hand cleaning is another way to prevent the spread of infection. Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. More patient-specific information is available at :