A prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing transparent polyurethane and hydrocolloid dressings for central venous catheters
Nikoletti, S., Leslie, G., Gandossi, S., Coombs, G. and Wilson, R. (1999) A prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing transparent polyurethane and hydrocolloid dressings for central venous catheters. American Journal of Infection Control, 27 (6). pp. 488-496.
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Background: This study was undertaken to determine the frequency of skin colonization, hub colonization, and central venous catheter colonization in transparent hydrocolloid versus standard polyurethane dressings. Methods: Adult patients requiring the insertion of a multilumen central venous catheter in an intensive care unit were randomized to receive either a standard polyurethane dressing or a transparent hydrocolloid dressing. Cultures were obtained from 125 skin insertion sites, 141 catheter hubs, 128 catheter tips, and blood samples from 132 patients. Extensive data on patient and catheter characteristics were collected. Results: Skin and hub cultures revealed no significant difference in degree of colonization. However, the hydrocolloid group had a significantly higher level of catheter colonization than the polyurethane group (P = .048). Conversely, there was a significantly higher frequency of positive blood cultures in the polyurethane group (P = .03), although the majority were considered to be potential contaminants. There were only 6 cases in which the same species was simultaneously isolated from a positive blood culture and a colonized catheter, 5 from the hydrocolloid group and I from the polyurethane group. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that an increased risk of catheter colonization is associated with the use of hydrocolloid dressings, despite previous research suggesting that they significantly reduce microbial growth compared with standard polyurethane. The clinical significance of increased numbers of positive blood cultures in the polyurethane group requires further examination, although distinguishing between contamination and true infection in intensive care settings continues to be methodologically challenging. Further studies are required to determine whether these findings are generalizable across different study settings and whether similar outcomes are obtained when different brands of hydrocolloid dressing are used.
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