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Peripheral intravenous catheter-associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia: more than 5 years of prospective data from two tertiary health services

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Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is an important hospital-acquired infection often associated with indwelling devices.13 The risk of a peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) leading to SAB is low, estimated to occur in about 0.1% of lines.4 However, up to 80% of hospitalised patients have a PIVC in situ at some time during their acute stay,5,6 so absolute numbers of PIVC-associated SAB may be a more pressing issue than has been previously recognised.1,3,5

Debate over the need for routine PIVC replacement is ongoing. In 1996, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that PIVC sites should be rotated at intervals of 48–72 hours.7 Later guidelines suggested that routine PIVC changes were not required more frequently than 72–96 hours in adults.