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Central Venous Catheter (CVC) - Related Bloodstream Infections in Pediatric Cancer

Institution: 
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Researcher(s): 
Rita Secola
Grant Type: 
Nurse Researcher Grants
Year Awarded: 
2009
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
General Pediatric Cancer
Project Description: 

Background

Approximately 10,000 to 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. For most of these, treatment includes the use of a central venous catheter (CVC), an intravenous (IV) tube. The advantages of CVCs for children with cancer are to maintain reliable intravenous access for multiple deliveries of medications and treatments. However, the use of these CVCs is associated with a risk of infection. A total of 250,000 CVC-related BSIs have been estimated to occur annually in hospitals, with associated mortality rates of 12% to 25%. This risk is particularly important in children with cancer because while there is great success in treating their disease and improving survival, their immune function remains decreased throughout the treatment period, which may last up to two years or longer. Despite the large use of CVCs for the treatment of children with cancer,few studies or reviews have been done or described infection prevention strategies specifically for these patients. As there is continued progress in achieving long-term survival of children with cancer, it will be equally important to minimize their risk of potentially life threatening CVC-related infections.

Project Goal

For the majority of children diagnosed with cancer every year, treatment will include the use of a central venous catheter (CVC). The CVC maintains reliable intravenous access for medications and treatments, but is also associated with a risk of infection. This risk is particularly important in children with cancer because their immune function remains decreased throughout the treatment period. This research study hopes to reduce CVC related infections in children with cancer.