Central venous catheters (CVCs) are an indispensable means of intravascular access in the treatment of critically ill patients. Infections associated with these catheters occur most frequently in intensive care unit settings. Despite the successful implementation of infection prevention programs, CVC-associated infections remain relatively common. Thorough knowledge of local epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of CVC-associated infections is therefore essential for the intensivist. In this paper we present new Dutch data on the epidemiology of causative micro- organisms and we summarise the evidence on diagnostic strategy and optimal empirical treatment of CVC-associated infections.
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