DOI: 10.1177/17571774241232063 ISSN: 1757-1774

The use of procedural kits may reduce unscheduled central line dressing changes: A matched pre–post intervention study

Amit Bahl, Nicholas Mielke, Steven Matthew Gibson, Julie George
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


Unscheduled dressing changes for central venous lines (CVLs) have been shown to increase the risk of bloodstream infections.


The objective of this study is to determine if the use of an innovative dressing change kit reduces the rate of unscheduled dressing changes.


This pre–post interventional study took place at a large, academic, tertiary care center in metro Detroit, Michigan, the United States. We assessed the impact of the interventional dressing change procedure kit on the rate of unscheduled dressing changes for adult patients who underwent placement of a CVL inclusive of a central catheter, peripherally inserted central catheter, or hemodialysis catheter. Data was collected for the pre-intervention cohort through electronic health records (EHRs), while data for the post-intervention cohort were collected by direct observation by trained research staff in combination with EHR data. The primary outcome was the rate of unscheduled dressing changes. Secondary outcomes included rate of unscheduled dressing changes based on admission floor type, etiology of unscheduled dressing changes, and central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs).


The study included a convenience sample of 1548 CVLs placed between May 2018 and June 2022 with a matched analysis including 488 catheters in each of the pre- and post-intervention groups. The results showed that the unadjusted rate of unscheduled dressing evaluations was significantly reduced from the pre-intervention group (0.21 per day) to the post-intervention group (0.13 per day) ( p < .001). The adjusted rate ratio demonstrated the same trend at 1.00 pre- and 0.60 post-intervention ( p < .001). Stratifying the analysis based on the highest level of care showed that the intervention was effective in reducing the unadjusted rate of unscheduled dressing evaluations for both the advanced and regular medical floor subgroups pre- to post-intervention; the advanced subgroup had an reduction from 0.22 to 0.15 per day ( p = .001), while the regular medical floor subgroup had a reduction from 0.21 to 0.09 per day ( p < .001). CLABSIs were similar in both groups (0.6% vs 0.8%; p = 1.00) in pre- and post-intervention groups, respectively.


Procedural kits for central line dressing changes are effective in reducing unscheduled dressing changes and may have a role in reducing CLABSI. Further studies assessing the impact of dressing change kits on cost, procedural compliance, and the precise impact on CLABSI are needed.

More from our Archive