MedStar Washington Hospital Center Reaches NICU Safety Milestone

On July 31th, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at MedStar Washington Hospital Center celebrated two years without a Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) in its most vulnerable babies. Central line infections are one of the safety outcomes measures most closely monitored by all hospitals. An estimated 41,000 CLABSIs occur in the U.S. each year. “This is unheard of, since these tiny infants are highly vulnerable to severe infections due to their immature immune systems. It takes an incredible teamwork to achieve a record of this level,” said Zacharia Cherian, MD, chairman of the Neonatology Department.

The Center credited their success to assigning a team of eight specialist nurses. “Two nurses handle each insertion on an infant, with one monitoring the procedure to make certain there are no safety lapses,” said Jacquelyn Bell-Benton, RN, the NICU nursing director. “Our dedicated team of 49 NICU nurses all work together to make certain the environment remains sterile, ensuring the central lines are protected during the entire procedure.” More

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