Bloodstream Infection in the Intensive Care Unit- Preventable Adverse Events and Cost Savings



Central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) impose a significant economic burden for patients admitted to the intensive care unit for adults (AICU). The objectives of the study were to evaluate the excess length of stay and extra costs attributable to CLABSIs diagnosed in the AICU.


Cases were selected as patients admitted to AICU from 2006 through 2009, who developed a CLABSI episode. These were matched (1:1) with appropriate controls. Matching criteria were selected to exclude other factors that could influence cost and care practices. The length of stay and resources used between AICU admission and discharge and until hospital discharge or death were measured. Incremental costs and lengths of stay were calculated for each pair of patients.


Thirty cases and 30 controls were included in the study. A CLABSI episode resulted in an additional 10.5 days in the AICU and 9.1 days after AICU discharge, totaling an additional 19.6 days. The incremental cost associated with a CLABSI episode was US $65,993 in the AICU and US $23,893 after AICU discharge, totaling an incremental cost of US $89,886.


By avoiding CLABSI events, cost offsets would be expected for payers with revenue losses to providers. An approach of sharing the gains resulting from preventive measures could be used to incentivize providers to maintain those investments, benefiting patients who will have a reduced risk of CLABSI development.


Claudia Balbuena Dal Forno Luci Correa Paulo David Scatena Claudia Vallone Silva Sandra Shiramizo Oscar Fernando Pavão dos Santos Miguel Cendoroglo Neto Vanessa Teich Nelson Teich Camila Sardenberg

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