Maximal Sterile Barrier Precautions

Maximal Sterile Barrier Precautions  


Use maximal sterile barrier precautions, including the use of a cap, mask, sterile gown, sterile gloves, and a sterile full body drape, for the insertion of CVCs, PICCs, or guidewire exchange [14, 75, 76, 80]. 

Use a sterile sleeve to protect pulmonary artery catheters during insertion [81]. 


Maximum sterile barrier (MSB) precautions are defined as wearing a sterile gown, sterile gloves, and cap and using a full body drape (similar to the drapes used in the operating room) during the placement of CVC. Maximal sterile barrier precautions during insertion of CVC were compared with sterile gloves and a small drape in a randomized controlled trial. The MSB group had fewer episodes of both catheter colonization (RR = .32, 95% CI, .10–.96, P = .04) and CR-BSI (RR = .16, 95% CI, .02–1.30, P = .06). In addition, the group using MSB precautions had infections that occurred much later and contained gram negative, rather than gram positive, organisms [76]. A study of pulmonary artery catheters also secondarily demonstrated that use of MSB precautions lowered risk of infection [37]. Another study evaluated an educational program directed at improving infection control practices, especially MSB precautions. In this study, MSB precautions use increased and CRBSI decreased [14]. A small trial demonstrated a reduced risk of skin colonization at the insertion site when MSB precautions were used [OR  3.40, 95%CI 1.32 to 3.67] [80].

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  2. Mermel LA, McCormick RD, Springman SR, Maki DG. The pathogenesis and epidemiology of catheter-related infection with pulmonary artery Swan-Ganz catheters: a prospective study utilizing molecular subtyping. Am J Med 1991; 91:197S–205.
  3. Mermel LA, Maki DG. Infectious complications of Swan-Ganz pulmonary artery catheters. Pathogenesis, epidemiology, prevention, and management. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1994; 149:1020–36.
  4. Raad II, Hohn DC, Gilbreath BJ, et al. Prevention of central venous catheter-related infections by using maximal sterile barrier precautions during insertion. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1994; 15:231–8.
  5. Carrer S, Bocchi A, Bortolotti M, et al. Effect of different sterile barrier precautions and central venous catheter dressing on the skin colonization around the insertion site. Minerva Anestesiol 2005; 71:197–206.
  6. Cohen Y, Fosse JP, Karoubi P, et al. The “hands-off” catheter and the prevention of systemic infections associated with pulmonary artery catheter: a prospective study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1998; 157:284–7.
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