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NICE recommends using 3M™ Tegaderm™ CHG IV dressings for reducing infection rates in critical care

NICE Guidance

Patients receiving intravenous medication are less likely to contract a bloodstream infection if the insertion site is covered by 3M's Tegaderm CHG I.V. securement dressing, recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Following a medical technology assessment under the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme, NICE has published guidance supporting the use of Tegaderm CHG dressings to cover and protect central venous and arterial catheter insertion sites in critical care patients.

NICE concluded that the uniquely designed Tegaderm dressing, with its integrated antimicrobial chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) gel pad, offers better protection against catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSIs), and is potentially more cost-effective compared to sterile semipermeable transparent (standard) dressings.

Clinical Benefits

CRBSIs can have devastating medical consequences for patients as they have the potential to cause severe ill-health and prolonged hospital stays. The Tegaderm CHG dressing is proven to reduce the incidence of CRBSIs in critical care patients with intravascular catheters by 60% compared to standard dressings,1 thus helping to increase patient safety and improve patients' quality of life.

Economic Benefits

Reducing length of stay in critical and high dependency care units and reducing the cost of diagnosis and treatment of CRBSIs bring obvious economic benefits to the NHS. It is known that catheter-related infections can prolong hospital stays by up to 20 days with attributable costs of around £9,900.2

If used as standard practice, the Tegaderm CHG dressing has the potential to save the NHS in England between £4.2 million and £10.8 million each year based on data reviewed by the NICE Advisory Committee (estimated cost saving per patient of £73 based on a baseline CRBSI rate of 1.48 per 1000 catheter days, benefiting population of 80,000 to 260,000.)3

Unique Technology

The dressing's integral chlorhexidine gel pad sits over the catheter insertion site giving antimicrobial protection while maintaining visibility of the site - a distinct advantage over CHG-impregnated sponge dressings. This allows the dressing to be used within existing care bundles* as a cost-effective method of minimising CRBSI rates.

The NICE guidance is based on review and analysis of the best clinical and economic evidence and includes the views of an expert advisory panel, including representatives of the National Infusion and Vascular Access Society, the Royal College of Nursing and the Infection Prevention Society.

Implementation of the guidance is the responsibility of local commissioners and providers when planning or delivering care of critically ill patients needing vascular access.

The NICE guidance is available at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/mtg25.



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*Care bundles are a set of simple to implement evidence-based practices that when performed collectively and reliably, have been proven to improve patient outcomes.

  1. Timsit JF, et al. Randomized Controlled Trial of Chlorhexidine Dressing and Highly Adhesive Dressing for Preventing Catheter-Related Infections in Critically Ill Adults. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2012; 186 (12):1272-1278.
  2. Dr. Philippe Eggimann, head of the Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland. Presentation at the 10th European Infection Prevention Expert Conference in October 2013.
  3. The 3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing for central venous and arterial catheter insertion sites (2015) NICE medical technologies guidance MTG25